Plymouth-Canton Marching Band

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Plymouth-Canton Marching Band
SchoolPlymouth-Canton Educational Park
LocationCanton, MI
Founded1972 (1972)
DirectorJonathan Thomann [1]

The Plymouth-Canton Marching Band (PCMB) is a nationally recognized marching band program located on the campus of the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park in Canton, Michigan.

Music program[edit]

The PCMB is part of a broader fine arts program offered in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. Its Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds, and Symphony bands have consistently rated among the best in the state of Michigan.[2][3] PCEP band students and alumni have performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Civic Youth Orchestra, the Michigan Youth Band, the National Honor Band of America, and the MSBOA All State Honor Band and Orchestra. The concert program is taught by Director of Bands Jon Thomann and Associate Director of Bands Mike Wells [4]


Previous staff have included Marc Whitlock (2003–2007), current music director for Discovery Middle School; Andy Ebert (2004–2007), current Visual Caption Head at Carolina Crown and West Bloomfield High School; Martin Montoya (2005–2008), director at Brazoswood High School in Clute, Texas; Clayton Wachholz (2001–2003,2016); David McGrath (1995–2001), current Director of Bands at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw, Georgia; Jonathan Ovalle (1995–2006), current Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Michigan; Steven McGuire (1998–2002) former assistant director at Mariner High School in Cape Coral, FL; Jed Leach (2007–2008), Current Percussion director for Georgetown High School in Georgetown, TX,; Rob Myers (1998–2000), current Director of Instrumental Music for Dallas ISD. Michael Brady Tarr (1993–2002), visual instructor/ clinician for various drum corps and marching bands. Alan Spaeth (1993 and 1997–2003) Color Guard and show design; Mitch Rogers (1992–2003), drill designer for the Stephen F. Austin Marching Band, Carlton J. Kell High School, Glen Adsit (1989–1994), current Director of Bands at The Hartt School in Hartford, Connecticut; Don Booher, Chris (Gale) Booher, Patrick Ruddy, Tom Fikes, Chad Jacobs, Jonathan Miller, Casey Swanson, George Hester, David Kline, Benjamin Clark, Mark Hart, John Shaw, Dan Arreola Ian Horste, and Sheldon Frazier (currently associate director at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, GA). Sean McElroy, Scott Beck, Emery Craig, currently in United States Army band, Dick Eathorne, and Ross Blackley.

Their current staff includes James Sparling, Percussion caption head, Noah Bellamy, visual caption head, John Hartwick, brass caption head, Lucas Schmidt, Color Guard caption head, Kevin J, Mike Wells, Assistant Director.[5]

Legendary drill writer Steve Brubaker wrote the drill for Plymouth's first national championship which also featured uniforms designed by Steve Cesario.

James Griffith served as Plymouth's Director of Bands until his retirement in 1994. Griffith is widely respected as one of the preeminent music educators in the state of Michigan.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

Since the mid-1970s, the Plymouth Canton Marching Band has become one of the most consistent high school marching bands in Southeast Michigan. Within the state of Michigan, the PCMB has been a state champion 25 times, an honor shared with no other groups in Michigan, (both Fine Arts and Athletics), and only with one other group in the country: the Marian Catholic High School Marching Band. Upon entering the Bands of America in 1986, Plymouth-Canton has been a National Finalist (Top 12) all but three years since 1988. This has honor has been exceeded only by the Marian Catholic High School Band. The Plymouth-Canton Marching Band has won more than 500 awards in 16 years. The band has also been to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Tournament of Bands in 1992 & 1996, winning the prestigious competition both years.

Outside of the competition, the band has had the distinction of playing for Presidents Ronald Reagan, in 1986,[7] and George H. W. Bush, in 1992, marching in Orlando, FL, the 1974 King Orange (Bowl) Parade, the 1973 Rose Bowl Parade, the 1973 Battle of the Bands shown nationally immediately prior to the Rose Bowl Parade, the Hudson's Christmas parade Santa's band as well as representing the community in various parades throughout the summer. In 2011, the band marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2016.

Competitive results and repertoire[edit]

  • 2008 (2008): Kaleidoscope - 11th Place Bands of America Grand National Finalist[8]
  • 2007 (2007): Out of the Shadows - 7th Place Bands of America Grand National Finalist, Bands of America Ypsilanti Regional Champion, MCBA State Champion [9]
  • 2006 (2006): The Passion Within - 9th Place Bands of America Grand National Finalist, Bands of America Ypsilanti Regional Champion, MCBA State Champion [10][11]
  • 2005 (2005): Performing Inside Out - 9th Place Bands of America Grand National Finalist, MCBA State Champion, Bands of America Pontiac Regional Runner-Up [12]
  • 1999 (1999): Thoughtcrime, Music for an Orwellian Era - Bands of America Grand National Champion, Captions for Best Music and Best General Effect, MCBA State Champion, Bands of America Toledo Regional Runner-up [13]

Winter programs[edit]

The PCMB also runs three very successful winter programs through the Michigan Color Guard Circuit and Winter Guard International. Both Winter Guards (A & World) have been State Champions [14] and the Open guard is a two time WGI Open Class Finalist.[15]


  1. ^ Dave Armbruster Bio from PCMB website
  2. ^ "Wind ensemble blows into Indy: Performance earns band a trip to national festival"Plymouth Observer, Front Page, March 10, 2005
  3. ^ "Musical Excellence: PCEP bands earn top ratings at district festival." Observer:, Page A2, March 15, 2007
  4. ^ "Staff". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  5. ^ "Staff" PCMB, Retrieved March 14, 2016
  6. ^ "Former Teachers of the Year (1986)" MSBOA District 12, Retrieved March 6, 2007
  7. ^ "Ronald Reagan Rally" Retrieved February 6, 2008
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2008-11-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "Bands of America Website" Retrieved on November 16, 2008
  9. ^ "Band Scores 7th At National Contest" Detroit Free Press,November 19, 2007
  10. ^ "One of the best-again: Marchers 9th at national band competition" Plymouth Observer, page A4, November 16, 2006
  11. ^ "Regional champions: Plymouth-Canton marchers top 26 bands at Eastern competition" Observer & Eccentric, page A4, October 12, 2006
  12. ^ "Among the best of the best: Hometown marchers take 9th in the nation" Observer & Eccentric, page A3, November 17, 2005
  13. ^ "Plymouth band wins competition: School earns Grand National Champion title in Indianapolis" Detroit News, November 16, 1999
  14. ^ Michigan Color Guard Circuit Hall of Champions
  15. ^ 2007 Winter Guard International World Championships Results

External links[edit]