Oakmont’s Winter Ensembles finish seasons with success




The Winter Ensembles completed their successful competition seasons this past weekend! Winter Percussion placed third in their division with a nine-point jump from last weekend and a score of 93.6. Winter Guard was crowned the New England Champions with a score of 93.7.

On Saturday, April 1, the winter guard drove an hour away to Salem HS to compete in the NESBA finals. Through the heat of the gym, the hopes were high but the smiles were higher! There were tears streaming down the seniors’ faces as they folded the floor and went outside to greet their friends and staff members, tears as pictures were taken of them and their happiness was captured in time! Titled “Checkmate”,  not only was the show a fierce battle but each member was playing the many different pieces in a chess game. Each of the guard members was a dedicated performer through the whole 4-minute show, determined to win and take home the title of first place! And they did!

Senior and six-year colorguard member, Lydia Kreidler, stated this regarding the winter guard, “This guard has been my family for the past 6 years, and I am so thankful that I got to end my final season with a NESBA Championships win! I am so proud of each and every member, from the brave middle schoolers spinning alongside experienced high schoolers, to the incredible senior class that made my experience what it was.”

Award time! (Liv Palubeckis)

After watching many other amazing groups perform including Blessed Sacrament who was awesome, the guard received first place in their division, Scholastic AA, with a score of 93.7! They competed against Salem HS and North Middlesex HS, who had scores of 91.79 and 90.68.

On the other side of performances and taking place on Sunday, April 2, the winter percussion drove 2 hours away to Dartmouth High School to compete in NESBA finals. With no air conditioning and no fans in the gym, the temperature was very, very warm. A show titled United We Stand, the percussion performs about two sides who fight and eventually discover they are not so different after all. Coming in third place out of 12, with a score of 93.6, the percussion brought home a third-place award!

They competed against Londonderry, Cranston, Blackstone Millville, Westbrook, Shepherd Hill, Dover, Biddeford, Wakefield, Dennis-Yarmouth, Salem and Somerset-Berkely. With lots of amazing performances from all the groups, many groups performed amazingly and all their hard work over the course of the season was well earned. With photos capturing the seniors’ last performance with the group, it was a joyous bus ride back!

Sophomore and first-year percussion member, Leia Voyer stated this regarding the winter percussion season, “I think it had a bit of a rocky start, but by finals, everyone came together to make it a great end to the season and a fun

Gather up! (Liv Palubeckis)


The performances over the weekend wrapped up the marching band’s winter seasons as well as the seniors’ last year, but it ended on a pretty good note! There were, of course, ups and downs in both seasons, but the friendships and good times and the photos taken will last a lifetime! Congratulations to all the seniors who will be graduating, from the fall season and the winter season, and to anyone else who may not be coming back next year, and a huge thank you to all the staff and everybody who assisted (Makoos)!


Checkmate: A freshman’s view of the board

By Savannah Stowell 

Going from 1 of 8 flutes in the marching band, to 1 of 28 people in the winter colorguard show “Checkmate” changed my life. I traveled from a group of friends to one big family. If you ever told me that I was going to get a 1st place medal at finals on April 1, 2023 for a high score of 93.7, I would’ve called you insane.

Being 1 of 4 rookies (playing rooks on a huge chessboard floor) in a big group was a challenge, especially knowing there would be 5 competitions coming my way (the first one was canceled due to lousy New England weather). Competitions that judges and other guards would be watching every achievement and every mistake. The pressure was on to get my 50 drop spins, 32 counts of flourishes, and single tosses perfected- or at least make it look like I knew what I was doing; so that we could beat 2 other schools: Salem and North Middlesex (Salem came in 2nd and North Middlesex in 3rd).

In the first couple of months, the Tuesday and Thursday rehearsals felt like they were 4 hours long, when really they were only 3 (5:30-8:30). Then the Saturday rehearsals felt like they went on forever, when really they were from 4 o’clock in the afternoon until 8 at night. Later on, the 3 rehearsals every week all went by in a breeze, and so did the competitions.

We received 2nd place for the first competition, and undefeated throughout the other 3. The numerous hours of work inside and outside of rehearsal went into a roughly 4-minute show. But that 4-minute show continues to be one of the best moments of my 15 years of living.