PUNTA GORDA - Charlotte High’s band hopes to do something they haven’t done in 20 years, after making history last school year.

Many Suncoast bands returned to regular marching band in 2021 after forgoing the 2020 season. Charlotte High had a few issues, one being very few kids returning to marching band in 2020, according to percussion captain McKayla McComiskey.

“There was like only 25, 30 kids in band. It was fun but there was just a lot of craziness,” says McComiskey.

Their band director also changed to Mr. Tommy Bunnens in 2020. So they had a pretty easy halftime show to get students up to speed in 2021.

“We took three songs and put them together. There wasn’t, like, an actual show," McComiskey says, "So it was kinda like one song, wait a minute, another song, wait a minute, and then the other song. There were a lot of, like, lines. We did have a heart. That was kind of cool, but there was a lot of mistakes during it.”

They’re back with a Latin show and regular season this year, complete with all the bells and whistles you’d expect: the impact points during the show, and the constant reminders to keep horns up above parallel during rehearsal.

What’s different in 2022? Expectations, says drum major Ava Hunt.

“We made history last year with our concert bands getting straight superiors,” Hunt says.

You see, both marching and concert bands get evaluated in what are called FBA assessments.

A band can score as high as a superior rating. I looked through everything that’s been recorded, and I couldn’t find one time Charlotte High ever had both their concert and symphonic bands both score superiors, at least until spring 2022.

“Oh, we were screaming. We were, like, shouting at the top of our lungs," Hunt says, “Everything that we were doing meant something. Our work was transferring. We were making music, and that's really the main thing. We want to make music.”

What about marching band? The last time it scored superiors was 2000 – in other words, before these kids existed.

“We have very high standards for ourselves now and it kind of hurts when we don't reach them, like knowing what we can do and are capable of.”

The band's next performance will be at a home game on Friday, September 9, against Manatee High School.