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Celebrating the Marching Season... and a Legend!

Last Sunday, November 13, 2022, the students, staff, and family of the Spirit of Woodlan gathered at the Woodlan auditeria to celebrate the season at the annual Marching Band Banquet. It was a great evening to gather together and celebrate all the hard work and success of the season. Mandy Dowell catered the dinner, and provided a delicious dinner for everyone attending. Dinner consisted of Chicken Alfredo, Baked Ziti Marinara with Meatballs, Salad, Fruit Salad, Ziano’s Breadsticks, drinks, and cake. It was a great dinner shared with great company!

Caitlyn wanted to include Riley's rubber duck collection :)

Keiran, Hunter, Keegan Walton (staff), Bailey, and Kaden

Caitlyn, Bella, Braedon, Cory, Katy, and Rogan

Delaney, Olivia, Kacie, Thomas, Gavin, Riley, Rachel, and Eli

Alex, Rogan, Caitlyn, Eleanor, Maranda, Lucas, Emmy, Lainey, Camdyn, Braedon, and Bella

Emmalee, Aidan, Alex, Hailey, Cory, Katie

Alex, Bella, Delaney, and Ava


Dani Lake, Band Booster Board President, opened the evening and introduced Emmalee Hoot, senior band member, to lead the prayer before dinner.

Emmalee leading prayer

Wyatt, Jayden, Spencer, Caitlyn, Abigail, Peyton, Shane, Miles, Izzy, Kinley, and Izzy

Emmalee, Aidan, Alex, Katy, Hailey, Cory, and Katie

Josiah, Delaney, Olivia, Kacie, Rachel, Thomas, Gavin, Riley, Eli, Ava, Ean

Alex, Rogan, Katelynn, Eleanor, Maranda, Lucas, Emmy, Camdyn, Braedon, and Bella

Madi, Joe, Bailey, Kaden, Keiran, Keegan, Hunter, Ryan, and Robert

During the program, Riley Saalfrank (Band), Olivia Lake (Band), and Kacie Bowers (Guard) gave senior speeches and reflected on their years with the band. Next, Apryl Hoot and Jenny Chlebek spoke as senior parents and discussed the role of band in the lives of their families. Dani Lake recognized the seniors and introduced the senior awards. These included:

Funniest Band Kid: Kacie Bowers

Most Likely to Become a Spirit of Woodlan Groupie: Emmalee Hoot

Most Likely to Arrive Late and Most Likely to Ebay Their Instrument After Band Season: Rachel Sisson

Most Likely to Forget They Were Ever in Marching Band: Maranda Winfrey

The Person Who Cries the Most: Olivia Lake

Hottest in Uniform: Riley Saalfrank

Tie: Most Likely to Arrive Late/ Most Likely to Forget They Were In Marching Band/ Most Likely to Ebay Their Instrument After the Season Was Over With: Aidan Kill

Quietest Band Kid: Katie Chlebek

Riley Saalfrank

Olivia Lake

Kacie Bowers

Apryl Hoot

Jenny Chlebek

Dani Lake introducing the Senior Recognition Awards


After the Senior Recognition, the Seniors presented Mr. Slattery with a Spirit of Woodlan painting they had created for him.

The seniors presenting their painting to Mr. Slattery


The next portion of the program was a surprise to most everyone in the room. Jason Harber took the podium and asked Apryl Hoot to join him on the stage. He spoke about the meaning behind the Spirit of Woodlan, and what that really meant in practice. He spoke of the qualities of Spirit, and how those qualities were reflected in both Apryl Hoot, and her late husband, Marvin. This marching band season was Apryl’s 37th season with the Spirit of Woodlan as a band parent, as all 9 of her children have been in the Spirit of Woodlan over the years. She and Marvin were a dynamic duo from the beginning, serving as 2 of the 3 members of the pit crew over the years. Apryl has sewn guard costumes and flags, chaperoned the buses over the years, worked countless concession stands, and participated in numerous fundraisers and activities. She is a band parent through and through. Her last daughter, Emmalee, is a senior this year and has completed her final marching band season. Many agreed that Apryl and Marvin greatly deserved to be recognized for their Spirit and all they have given to the band over the years. Jason introduced the “Marvin and Apryl Hoot Memorial Award for Spirit”, an award to be given annually to the senior member who most embodies the characteristics of Spirit, as voted on by their peers.


Spirit was characterized by Dedication to the band our band family; Perseverance through difficulties and challenges; Kindness and Encouragement toward others; Positive Mental Attitude in the face of adversity, struggle, or disappointment; and Leadership within the band and beyond. Based on these criteria, Riley Saalfrank was chosen among his peers as the senior band member who most lives these principles. The students all celebrated Riley as very deserving of this honor. It was an emotional moment and one that will be cherished by many.


Jason Harber introducing the Marvin and Apryl Hoot Memorial Award for Spirit

Riley Saalfrank and Apryl Hoot


Dani Lake took a moment to recognize all the volunteers who have helped make this a successful band season. Finally, Mr. Slattery made some closing remarks and concluded the evening. The banquet was a great evening to share and celebrate what a special band family we have and to bring this marching band season to a close.

Mr. Slattery giving closing remarks

Caitlyn, Lucas, Bella, Braedon, and Rogan


When one door closes, another one opens, right? Well, several doors will be opening soon for these busy students. Jazz Band began this past week, and Pep Band will begin performing at basketball games soon. Instead of participating in Winter Percussion this season, Woodlan will participate in Winter Winds, which will be opened up to all students in East Allen County Schools. Rather than focus on percussion only, Winter Winds has been described as marching band, just inside, ha! They will begin with an informational meeting on November 28th at 7pm, with practices running every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from December through March from 6-9pm. Competitions will begin February 11, 2023. This year, Winter Guard will participate separately and will begin practicing in December as well. Their first competition will take place on January 28, 2023. Stay tuned for more information and updates on the activities of these groups! Great things are ahead!


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