Marching band isn’t what it seems

As band members wrap up marching season, many have taken time to look back on the fall semester

Standing+in+the+hot+sun%2C+horn+players+form+a+line+during+band+practice.+

John Tran

Standing in the hot sun, horn players form a line during band practice.

Kate McLeod, Contributing Writer

Every year, teenagers across the U.S end their summer and start the school year with gruesome hours on the school parking lot, learning to play in beat with 300 kids struggling to balance marching and playing an instrument.

John Tran
Sophomore Joe McNeese marches during a practice after school.

 

As band students prepare to wrap up marching season after the final football games and contests, many have taken time to look back on the fall semester.

While it might seem like the lives of band students are simple, it takes a lot of sweat and tears to perfect each performance.
“We practice for seven hours a week, not including required events we have to attend,” said sophomore Rachel Semana.

The Roarin’ Blue Band starts band with a two-week camp at the end of July, going on to have after school rehearsal from 3:30-6p.m, four days a week.

Marching season and school is like a tug-o-war, pushing to get homework done with the time taken by band practice.
“It’s really hard to keep up with the physical aspects of band while balancing the school schedule,” said Semana.
Although band students can go to tutoring after school, it is easy to get behind in marching drills, due to missing parts of rehearsal. Despite this, some students manage to keep up their grades by endless hours of studying at night.

Some non-band students may think marching is easy – for instance, sophomore Ayden Vicnent believes that “marching band is easy, because the only part of marching band is learning to play an instrument and walk around.”
From the student section view it may look easy, but up close, viewers can begin to see the complexity of performing.
“I get mad, because some kids who aren’t in band think we’re walking around field,” sophomore Maggie Gray said. “We’re actually doing a lot of hard work.”
Students who join band usually start the season in August, to prepare for the challenging contests in October.

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Sophomore Hallie Mcleod is seen playing the flute, about to step off for the next drill. “I had to focus really hard, because if I forgot where I was going next, it would mess up everything,” said Mcleod. It is Mcleod’s second year in band.

“I like that we have the opportunity to get to practice before marching season, because it prepares us,” freshman Veronika Boyrie said.
Though there are a large number of kids who enjoy summer band camp, many do not enjoy the 10 hour days consisting of heat, sweat and music.
“I like summer band camp, but I also dislike it,” senior Katelyn Johnson said. “It’s really hot.”

One of the hardest parts of marching band is learning how to march and memorize the drill of the show.
“The hardest part is perfecting every little step, along with 300 kids doing the same thing,” Johnson said.
It’s not just about learning to march; for band members, it’s about being a family and helping each other.
“You make so many friends and memories throughout the season,” Johnson said, as this year was her last in the Roarin’ Blue Band.
Marching band may look easy, but if one really focuses on what is happening, students will start to realize the intricacy of every little move.