Jill Chumley

As the marching band roars behind her, senior Abby Cascarelli plays the marimba at the Langham Creek football game. “I love everyone in the front ensemble and performing with them is exhilarating,” Cascarelli said. The Wildcats won the football game and have only lost one game this year.

Senior performs under her last Friday Night Lights

December 5, 2019

Looking up at the drum major, senior co-section leader Abby Cascarelli took in a deep breath. This would be her last time performing the marching band’s contest show, “The Day the Music Died.” She exhaled and played her first note. This performance would be the best one yet.

This past November, Cascarelli finished her last season as the front ensemble section leader, serving as one of the front ensemble’s first two co-section leaders her junior and senior year.

Marching Band Life

Sanna Apolskis
Freshman Andy Pham of the front ensemble plays the marimba during a football game.

The two main sections of marching band percussion are the pit and drumline.

According to Cascarelli, “pit is different from drumline because to keep time you have to look into the center, and by doing that you can see all the happy expressions on your fellow players faces.”

Cascarelli was on drumline her sophomore year but went back to the front ensemble (pit) her junior year.

“You create an inseparable bond and work very hard,” Cascarelli said. “At the end it all pays off and you are able to perform with the people you love.”

With the countless hours of hard work, band members have the opportunity to create lasting friendships with their peers. The activity causes them to always be around each other.

“Since band is so time consuming, the band hall kind of becomes a second home,” Cascarelli said. “Without pit I probably wouldn’t have been as close with Isaiah.”

Cascarelli was able to become much better friends with senior Isaiah Johnson, the co-section leader, because of marching band.

Sharing a Leadership Position

“We’ve known each other since sixth grade whenever we met in band, but we started becoming closer friends freshman year whenever we both joined the front ensemble,” Johnson said.

Since freshman year, Cascarelli and Johnson have become known as the “dynamic duo” of the front ensemble, becoming the pit’s first co-section leaders.

“We were both pretty disappointed about not making drumline so we were able to bond in that way, but I think a true turning point in our friendship was whenever be both decided to go back to pit and become section leaders,” Johnson said.

They soon learned, however, that being a section leader is harder than it looks.

We were both pretty disappointed about not making drumline so we were able to bond in that way, but I think a true turning point in our friendship was whenever be both decided to go back to pit and become section leader.”

— Isaiah Johnson

“While very rewarding, being a section leader can get very difficult sometimes,” Johnson said. “You have to be able to lead a big group of people with different prerogatives, so having a partner can lift some weight off of your shoulders.”

Members of the section have stated that the pair have done an amazing job being co-section leaders the past two years and will be immensely missed.

Teacher’s Opinions

“The seniors are a very strong group and will be greatly missed,” percussion teacher Mr. King said.

Cascarelli made the region band multiple times and she is currently in Wind Symphony, the top band ensemble. Along with Johnson and the other senior percussionists, she will be missed when she graduates.

“She always had a good work ethic and strived to be a good player,” King said.

Cascarelli is in advanced and dual credit classes and works just as hard in the classroom as she does on the field with the band.

“I’m proud of her growth as a student and as a person,” King said.

After Cascarelli’s exciting seasons with the Roarin Blue Band, she has a bright future ahead of her. Cascarelli was accepted into Baylor University and she also wants to major in Business Management.

“Marching Band is pretty exciting because it’s like one long episode of Wipeout and I got to go through it with my best friend,” Johnson said.