An even greater indication that autumn has arrived is the sounds of Phoenixville High School's Phantom Marching Band floating through the air on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as at the football games and band competitions.

The band has been hard at work on this year's show, entitled "A Celebration of Ancient Rome's Gods and Goddesses," designed by Todd Marcocci from West Chester University. The show features eleven 12-foot Roman columns, urns, banners, and several pedestal boxes for the color guard to perform as live statues. In addition to the new show and props, the band is sporting new uniforms for the first time in 11 years. The old uniforms were hanging on for dear life and finally were put out of their misery. The new uniforms, which are much fancier and feature bright purple color and Aussie-style hats with colorful plumes, have brought a new energy to the Phantom Marching Band.

On Sept. 11, the band kicked off their competition season at Hempfield, capturing first place with an impressive score of 81.85. Their second competition at Perk Valley on Sept. 25 afforded them a 2nd-place finish, and they also captured two awards for high percussion and high auxiliary. They finished behind the first-place winner by less than 1 point. On Oct. 2nd, the band traveled to Owen J. Roberts, where they again placed 2nd with only 3/10 of a point separating them from a first-place finish. The band had a two-week break for SATs and then were back on the road on Oct. 16, where they traveled to the Parade of Champions at James Madison University in Virginia. They were the returning champions from last year and were the band to beat. Unfortunately for the other bands, Phoenixville went on to retain their champion status, while also winning five additional awards for outstanding overall effect, best music, best visual performance, best color guard, and best drum major. Michael Britcher, the band director, proudly announced that their margin of victory at this event was nearly 7-points. He shared his judgment that "this is an extraordinary accomplishment."

On Oct. 30, Phoenixville High School will again host its annual home competition, The Phantom Fest. There will be 15 bands from Pennsylvania and New Jersey competing with an exhibition performance by Phoenixville's Phantom Band. The public is invited to this competition where they will be able to see the area's best high school bands as well as their own award-winning hometown high school band. Gates open at 4 p.m. with the program beginning at 5 p.m. This is a rain or shine event. Tickets can be purchased at the gate at a cost of $8 and $6 for students and seniors.

There will be an abundance of great musical entertainment as well as a wide variety of food items such as home-baked desserts, french fries, the traditional band chili and many more delicious offerings. The band is hoping for their hometown's support of this annual event.

If you are unable to attend this event, the band will also be performing their entire show, complete with props, at the Oct. 22 home football game.

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