By Kaity Gage, special media projects editor
PENNCREST Combined Outdoor Performing Ensemble (PENNC.O.P.E) made history on Sept. 17 at the Lakeshore Marching Band Association’s McDowell Competition, where they received the highest rating of platinum.
PENNC.O.P.E is the compilation of Saegertown and Maplewood musicians, who have dedicated numerous hours to this year’s show entitled “Fortress.” To qualify for a platinum rating, an ensemble must receive a near perfect score, and PENNC.O.P.E. They were the only ones to receive this honor of A, AA, AAA, and Open Class divisions. They are judged in three categories: musical, visual, and general effects. Bands from Erie and Crawford counties competed in the competition for a rating of bronze, silver, gold, or platinum.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was when the Cochranton High School Marching Band received a rating of gold. For over a decade, they have been undefeated in multiple classes. Cochranton is known for their unique music, drill, general effect, and flag work.
Senior Drum Major Jesse Stewart was pleased with the group’s performance. “I knew we were going to get it. It was a great performance and each and every member of the band put in 110 percent. That’s what separates us from the other bands,” said Stewart.
Their next competition will be on Oct. 1, at War Memorial Field in Warren, Pa.