Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum

Written by: Jeda French, Reporter

For the band members, being in band is more than just playing an instrument, it’s an experience. It provides the students with opportunities that they would otherwise not have access to. Everyone in the program looks at each other as a family. They all work hard together, as a group.

“We put a lot of work into what we do, and I think that’s something that a lot of people don’t realize. Like in the summer, we do two weeks of band camp from eight to five,” said drum major Simon Garcia.

For the members, being apart of the band program is special for each of them in different ways.

“Being in band means a lot,”  said junior Natalie Rigdon. “I want to be a band teacher like Mr. [Curtis] Westbrook and being in band helps me express myself, and music to me is literally everything. So getting the opportunity to be in band every single day, to me, is awesome.”  

The Band Cats look at their group dynamic as more like a family than a classroom.

“Band is really a fun class, and it’s really laid back, and the people are great. You learn something and you actually have a new family. You don’t just view them as classmates, you view them as your siblings and you look at each other and you take in what they can offer and you apply it to your own life and you can change theirs as well,” said senior Pierce Allen.

Even though the members love what they do, they still find it to be challenging.

“The hardest thing is probably commitment, and rehearsals, because not every rehearsal is going to be good and not everyone is going to be as committed as everyone else, and everyone is tired.

‘By the end of the season, we’re all just pooped out and we just want to go to concert band. But, definitely commitment and rehearsals,” said Rigdon.

There are unique experiences about marching band that are different from regular band.

“Marching band is more so an experience than concert band, because in concert band you sit down, you get a piece of music, you play it, and you do it repetitively. It’s everyday, and nothing ever changes. But in marching band, the weather changes, which means we change our rehearsal styles, we could be inside, we could be outside, we could just do music, we could just do body, everyone’s interacting with everyone, everyone’s collaborating with everyone, everyone has contact with everyone. It’s not just here’s your section, this is the row that you sit in, this is the people that you primarily talk to,” said Rigdon.

On competition days, the band has to get up early in the morning in order to gather all the equipment and be able to get to their destination on time.

“We gather ourselves up, get onto the busses, go to wherever we’re going, get there, we unload a little bit, sometimes we eat before we do anything, and then we get uniformed, we head out to the stadium, or the field, prep, perform, leave, take off uniforms, go back to the busses, eat lunch or dinner, and then we go back to the stadium and watch other groups until the award ceremony goes through. Then we get on the bus and go home,” said Rigdon.

Even though the band is busy on competition days, they still feel like it’s worth it.

“But, it’s a really fun experience because everyone’s super excited because it’s a competition, and there’s opportunities for us to get trophies, and eat a bunch of crap, and be weird band kids,” said Rigdon.

Of the two competitions the Band Cats have competed in this season, they’ve gotten a superior rating at both. They have one more chance to compete at their last competition of the season on Saturday in Independence, Kan.