INDIANAPOLIS – While it may have been a dreary fall weekend for most people in north central Indiana, the Maconaquah High School marching band found a way to rise “Above the Clouds.”

That’s the name of the performance the Marching Braves took to the Scholastic Class B State Finals on Saturday at Franklin Central High School in Indianapolis. And it’s the performance that earned Maconaquah’s marching band its first state championship.

Under the direction of James Byrn Jr., the show featured the songs “Umbrella” by Rhianna, “Gravity” by John Mayer and the overture from “Mary Poppins.”

“The color guard performed very strong and Lexie Sutherin with her solo at the beginning of the show set the tone for the excellent performance of the whole band and color guard,” Matthew Morson, band booster president, said Sunday in a news release. “In total, there are 36 marching band and color guard members who are supported by nine of their peers as Blue Crew members.”

The group was led on field by senior drum major Haidyn Kendall, senior band captain Katie Ousley, senior band captain Lei’ala Murphy, senior guard captain Lexie Sutherin, senior band captain Madison Kunkle and senior leader Matthew Morson.

Soloists during the performance were Katie Ousley on trumpet, Madison Kunkle on clarinet, Dani Gross on mellophone, Matthew Morson on tenor saxophone, Sydnee Judy on flute and the trio of Katie Ousley, Dani Gross and Rachel Eby on trumpet.

“In a field of 14 schools that advanced to the state finals, your Maconaquah Marching Braves finished their season by topping all schools to prevail as the state champions,” Morson stated in the news release.

The Marching Braves will travel to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Nov. 6 to perform in exhibition during the ISSMA State Finals.

“We are looking forward to a positive future and will continue to move forward and grow the program,” Morson said.

This is Byrn’s third year as band director at Maconaquah High School. The Marching Braves are an 18-time ISSMA Class C State Finalist and three-time runner up.

“The Maconaquah Marching Braves would like to thank the parents, sponsors, Maconaquah School Corporation, Maconaquah High School Administration, Marching Braves Alumni and last but certainly not least the instructors for the band and color guard,” Morson added.

Anyone who would like more information on assisting with sponsorship, volunteering, fundraising or to show your support can visit the Maconaquah Marching Braves Facebook page or attend a monthly meeting of the Maconaquah Band Boosters at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at the high school.

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