12-hour practices prepare marching band for season


Julia Allwardt and Shelby Johnson plays xylophone. Photo by Maximo Esguerra

Marching band is known for its brief halftime performances, but it takes consecutive hours practicing in order to execute their routine.

Running from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., students take advantage of the time during practice to amplify their skills.

“I feel like maybe 30-40 percent of the work that we get done is actually is actually in band camp, I mean we do have practices twice a week or sometimes three times a week but most of the work is completed here,” Nathan Scott said.

Practices involve 60 students who focus on drills and the fundamentals of marching band in 97-degree heat.

“[The 12-hour practices] are a bit lengthy but as long as I manage to apply sunscreen. We really get a deeper glimpse into what goes on inside each of our heads due to these practices being so long and usually complaints arise,” Eric Smith said.

They get two meal breaks during practice everyday, one for lunch and one for dinner, and parent volunteers have began to bring in food for the band members.

“The idea [for a potluck] was suggested beforehand, and so it was expected this week. Everyone looks forward to their breaks, so I’m sure they were ecstatic to see food brought in,” Danielle Blankenship said.

With official band camp ending last week, the 12-hour practices extend the amount of time the group can prepare for this year and bond.

“We do team building, which means that we all get together as a whole band and try to do fun little activities. Also our sections, meaning percussion, woodwinds, and horn line, all get together day by day and we work together on different sections. We get to know each other a lot more through the music,” Katelynn Skilj said.

The theme for their movement list this year is Spanish-influenced.

“Our third movement, La Batalla de Lepanto, is based of a naval engagement in Oct. 7, 1551 between the Holy fleet and the Ottoman Empire fleet,” director Mr. Kris Harper said.

The marching band will have a chance to put the practice to use performing at a barbecue on Aug. 12.