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Show takes weeks to perfect

Show takes weeks to perfect

By Jessica Marshall

All the weeks of hard work and dedication pay off at this one performance. As the band takes their place on the worn football field, members reflect on how they got there. Their main goal for show is to entertain and pump the crowd.

Seniors Chelsea Gifford and Shay Vandevander are two members of the ten-team Color Guard.

“We are the ones with the flags, ribbon, rifle, and saber. This is my first year being a part of the color guard,” Gifford said. “It takes a lot of hard work.”

Along with being in Color Guard, Vandevander takes on various roles.

“I am the color guard captain. But I’m also choreographer and teacher. I wrote most of the show this year, and taught the nine other girls how to do the routines,” Vandevander said. “Now only three out of the ten of us had done this before so it was definitely a challenge.”

Senior Megan Greenwell is an assistant drum majors.

“Our job is to conduct the band with the head drum major, who is Maria Siltz,” Greenwell said.

Before the band can make their way onto the field to perform the halftime show, they undergo a series of practices to perfect the performance.

“Previous years, we were still learning drill by the 2nd or 3rd football game. We were focused mainly on making it performable, let alone prefect. But once again, this year is different,” Vandevander said. “We had the whole show on the field by the first football game. Granted, it wasn’t beautiful, but instead of having to worry about learning drill and all that, we got to focus of perfecting the show.”

In order to practice, the band needs to be assigned music. There is one person in particular who gets a say in what song is performed.

“Mr. Warnock picks the music based on numerous things. Whether or not he has the budget for it, what instrumentation he will have for the year,” Vandevander said. “Example: He won’t pick a show that is heavy on brass (trumpets, trombones, horn, baritone) when he has an army of woodwinds and maybe 8 brass total.”

With the song chosen, the band begins to practice every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

“During practice we go over all of our sets, and if there are a few sets that need more practice than others we do them over and over again. Or as Mr. Warnock would say ‘Take it back, do it again’,” Gifford said. “After working on a few sets we will do a run threw of the show. “

When game day arrives, mixed feelings and emotions arise from the hard-working band members. They wish to show all of their heart and dedication.

“The first few performances were filled with a bit of nervousness,” Vandevander said. “Then they got a bit more comfortable. So to really describe the atmosphere, it’s a little bit of nervousness but a whole lot of excitement. Because in the end, we are performers and when we perform, it’s a high you can’t get anywhere else.”

As the second quarter comes to a close, the band gets ready to put on their show. Each band member has his or her own way of coping with the adrenaline.

“I prepare for our half time shows by high-fiving all the band members and stretching out with the color guard and my other fellow drum majors so our arms don’t cramp up,” Greenwell said. “I also do this dance thing with the guard when I’m feeling good. Go bananas!”

Looking back on previous performances, Vandevander sees a clear difference in performances.

“This year is different than other years. We really performed as a whole, everyone covering their parts. We didn’t have individuals try to carry the band…that’s always been the case, but not this year,” Vandevander said. “It’s truly amazing how much we have come together to become this family that actually loves performing together. There are no intense feuds between sections because is actually carrying their own weight. It’s made this year amazing.”

Hard work and dedication result in shows worthy of applaud. Once the first game jitters have worn off, Greenwell believes the performances will improve.

“Our first game that we perform at, we’re all nervous but after that it’s just fun and exciting. At the end when we know we’ve done well, we have the greatest feel of accomplishment,” Greenwell said. “We like having fun but we love to succeed.”

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  • C

    Conner StevensonMay 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I feel as if the band is overlooked by many every game. As a player, there is nothing more exciting than walking out of the field house and hearing the oh so familiar tune played at pregame. Nothing gets me more amped than that. So, to all of you out ther on the band, your are appreciated and keep up the good work.

  • J

    Josh KentMar 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    During cross country when ever we ran at the high school we always ran past the band practicing. It was kinda weid taking part in an athletic sport and watching the band have “athletic” practice as well. I didn’t get it at first but after seeing their performance I had alot more respect for what they do.

  • S

    Shay VandevanderFeb 1, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I think to a lot of us in Marching Band believe that it is a sport…only different. Because mistakes in sports means that the other team can use those mistakes and win. But the other team in marching band are ourselves. We’re searching for perfection which is hard and takes HOURS upon HOURS of practice and dedication. We do get overlooked but that hasn’t stopped us. I hope when I come back in a few years, the band gets the recognition it deserves. :]

  • M

    Malikah WilliamsJan 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I think that the band does get overlooked a lot but they still are very good at what they do. There is a lot of time and dedication that goes into making the band as good as it is and it is clearly paying off.

  • E

    Evan MayJan 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Marching is a lot harder than many people realize. It is very demanding and takes a lot of concentration and focus to get the moves right. When we go onto the field, we know that nothing else matters but the show.

  • C

    Carrie YoungJan 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Practicing for performances can be very demanding. People who do not play sports or who have never gotten in front of an audience and performed do not realize the dedication and hard work it takes to really pull it off. Kudos to the band, you guys work hard and it shows.

  • D

    Diana O.Dec 17, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Although our band doesn’t get the recognition it should many don’t know the practices they put in. I know during the summer when cross country had practice they would be out there practicing. I actually enjoyed having practice at the high school to entertain me while I ran. The halftime shows were great also.

  • T

    Trey CarterDec 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Go Band!
    Being a member of the Marching Royals, I know how much time and dedication it takes to put a complete show on the field, not only to make it good. The summer practices are hectic, 100 degree weather, waking up at 7 AM, not leaving practice until 4PM, band is pretty tough. I will forever respect students who participate in marching band, because this is one of the hardest thing i’ve ever done in my life.

  • A

    Alex MartinezDec 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I’m glad that this year is going so well. Hopefully you can truly perfect the pieces this year and show off your ability. I hate the feeling of performing a piece when I haven’t truly mastered yet; it is much more enjoyable when you are comfortable with the piece you are playing.

  • R

    Rachel ArnoldDec 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I’ve tried to learn to play an instrument in the past but I never quite got it. It took too much effort to learn so I gave up eventually. This is why I have lot of respect for our band. They’re really good and it shows that they all put in a lot of hours.

  • R

    Rachel WaymackDec 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    It’s pretty impressive all of the stuff our band student do to prepare for their preformances, all of their practice definitly pays off when they play.

  • C

    Chris BaeDec 14, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I never really focused my attention to the band. It’s probably due to the fact that they are underrated, however that doesn’t mean they don’t try hard to make our school and themselves look better. I played a couple of musical instruments before and trying to perfect it is very agonizing and frustrating.

  • J

    Jessica TaylorDec 13, 2010 at 11:46 am

    When you see the band perform, you don’t think of how much work really goes into it. It definitely takes alot of hard work, dedication, and cooperation. I’ve been in the band room before during fifth block and it’s kind of cool to hear the different instruments practicing and perfecting.

  • R

    Raya GirardDec 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Our band is filled with many talented musicians and dancers. They work very hard practicing. Football without band would be like a sundae without icecream. I took band for one year in 5th grade and I can tell you it is a lot of work, plus you have to practice at home! I still have a clarinet that has barely been used if any one would like to buy one. Our band deservrs all the recognition they can get.

  • O

    Olivia TritschlerDec 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

    I think sometimes band is overlooked at high schools because it is not a sport. But there are many people involved in the band and it takes hours and hours of practice to perfect just likes sports. It great to see them get some recognition.