Marching Pacer band has outstanding season, takes home top honors at Oktoberfest parade


The Switzerland County High School Marching Pacer Band has been participating in a variety of parades during this marching season; and the band has earn an audience of admirers as it collects praise and trophies all around the area.

Last weekend, the Marching Pacers participated in the Seymour Oktoberfest parade. Under the direction of Tammy Beitzel and Kathy Williams, the band marched to the “Indiana Jones” theme; and performed a special street show to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. The show featured solos by tuba player Megan Fillenwarth and snare drum player Nathan Lewis.

The band also utilized the special effects of an American Flag and red, white, and blue confetti cannons.

Following the performance, senior members of the band along with their directors and flag corps sponsor Lisa Arnoldy attended the awards ceremony.

Not only did the marching band earn the first place trophy and the flag corps earn the second place trophy; but the Marching Pacers also earned the first-ever “Oktoberfest Judges Award”. Drum major Heather Fussnecker accepted the award for her fellow band members.

According to band director Tammy Beitzel, the Judge’s Award was presented to the best overall band in the parade.

“The presenters said that they were looking for the unit that added ‘sparkle’ to the parade and exemplified what the Oktoberfest is all about,” Tammy Beitzel said. “The Marching Pacers were voted this award unanimously by the judges. There were eight bands in the competition, so we’re very proud of this accomplishment.”

The flag corps, with only two members performing, still earned second place for the auxiliary units; and that trophy was accepted by captain Tabitha Arnoldy.

An excited group of musicians took a victory lap through Vevay upon arriving back in town, led by members of the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department and the Vevay Police Department.

But Seymour isn’t the only parade where the Marching Pacers have shined.

The group earned the “Best in Show” award at the Canaan Fall Festival; and also participated in the Swiss Wine Festival parade.

The unit now moves on to participate in the Fort Vallonia Days parade this Saturday, October 21st; and the Vevay Halloween Parade on October 28th.