ANNANDALE, Va. (CBSDC) — A northern Virginia high school’s administration and football coach are under fire after the school’s marching band was allegedly kicked off the field mid-performance during a recent football game.
The Annandale High School marching band was performing during halftime of the football team’s Nov. 8 Senior Night game against South County High School when coaches and parents allegedly hurried the band off the field before they were done playing, according to band members.
An editorial in the Annandale High School newspaper says the band had just started playing its second song and the scoreboard clock showed more than 4 minutes left in the intermission when head football coach Mike Scott and other coaches and players began screaming at band director Adam Hilkert to “get the band off the field.”
Scott then shook the podium the drum majors were standing on and screamed at them to stop the band, assistant drum major Douglas Nguyen said.
“All of a sudden, I look around and I feel something shaking my podium, and I see it’s coach Scott,” Nguyen said, adding that the shaking wasn’t enough to knock him off the podium, but it was unsettling.
The band left the field after the second song and played their final number after the game was finished.
Senior band member Megan Ryan, who co-authored the editorial with James Barker, said the actions of the coaching staff and parents were disturbing.
“I’m disappointed and felt disrespected about what happened, because it was our Senior Night — it’s supposed to be the biggest night — and then we don’t even get to perform our third show, and we have to stay out in the freezing cold afterward,” Ryan said.
Band members and their parents said what happened wasn’t indicative of the school or the football players.
A spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools said the matter is being investigated by the superintendent’s office.
“Principal [Vincent] Randazzo is extremely concerned with how this situation was handled. He is following up with all of the parties involved and will take whatever appropriate action is deemed necessary,” the spokesperson said.
Randazzo and Scott have both apologized to the band. Scott did not return a request for comment.
Annandale lost the game 55-14, finishing its season with only one win.
The school’s band — which goes by The Marching Atoms — just won another state championship.