The Times photos by Betsy Reason
Sheridan Marching Blackhawks perform “From Now On” from “The Greatest Showman,” in their Class A division of the Music For All Indiana State Fair Band Day on Friday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
The Times photos by Betsy Reason Sheridan Marching Blackhawks perform “From Now On” from “The Greatest Showman,” in their Class A division of the Music For All Indiana State Fair Band Day on Friday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Patrick Cronin, Sheridan High School’s band director, was all smiles as his band marched off the Grandstand track following their performance Friday morning at the Music For All Indiana State Fair Band Day.
“They did awesome. That was the best performance I’ve seen of the year,” said Cronin, who participated in his fourth consecutive year of State Fair Band Day, all since he’s been at Sheridan.
.The third band to compete at the annual State Fairgrounds contest, at 9:18 a.m., Sheridan was the only Hamilton County high school band in the competition, which takes place on the dirt track in front of the Grandstand, where families and friends watched from the bleachers.
Sheridan competed among 40 bands that competed from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with the Sweet 16 finals to begin at 8 p.m. Friday, with the winners usually announced before midnight. There fewer bands competing than previous years. The 2017-18 State Fair Band Day champion Noblesville Marching Millers did not compete in Band Day.
The Marching Blackhawks performed “>From Now On” from “The Greatest Showman,” the P.T. Barnum-inspired 2017 original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.
Why this particular music selection was chosen?
“This band is like a family. Our whole band program is like a family,” Cronin said of the 29-member Marching Blackhawks. “‘>From Now On’ is the point in the movie, ‘The Greatest Showman,’ where the circus just burned down, and they are deciding what they’re going to do. P.T. Barnum wants to throw in the towel and quit. He’s sitting in a bar, which is why you see a bar, back in the back of it (Sheridan’s set).”
He said, “They decide that they are a family. And they are going to keep moving on. And that, it just fits our group to a T. So, that’s why we have picked ‘From Now On.’ That’s why we’re doing it. The kids love it.”
Sheridan Blackhawks brought in a hardwood floor for their stage. A percussion cart looked like a bar, with speakers.
Musicians dressed in white marching pants that resembled folks from the 19th century.
Johnny McGinnis did the choreography and musical arrangement for the show.
The marching band and guard members’ day started very early Friday. They met at 6 a.m. and rode a school bus to the State Fairgrounds, where they arrived at their assigned site just before 7 a.m., after a brief delay due to horses on the track.
On Friday morning, right before the Blackhawks went on stage, Cronin gave them a pep talk. “I told them, ‘You know, God willing, if everything hits like the way they can hit, they can certainly place as high as any of these bands playing here. Because they’re a ‘good band.’”
The Marching Blackhawks have practiced the show all summer, including at an intensive band camp the last couple of weeks of July.
The Indiana State Fair Band Day was not the first time that the band (24 musicians and five guard) performed the selection in a competition. The band earned 19th place at Muncie Central High School and 16th place at Winchester High School in 2019.
“We had some technical difficulties in both of our earlier performances, so I would not be surprised to see ourselves doing a lot better on this show,” Cronin said.
“This was, by far, the best performance of the season.”
He said, “If you go and march well and play well, the judges will see that.”
Sheridan placed 22nd overall. There were 15 Class A bands in the competition

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com. State Fair Band Day placings were not awarded before The Times’ deadline.