Marching to Success

The Marching Band intends to leave its ‘march’ on the field this year.


100% is what you can expect from the marching band this season. Through summer camps, in-school and Saturday practices, and playing in all sorts of uncomfortable weather conditions, the marching band is displaying extreme dedication this year.

This season brings new and innovative changes to the marching band. Last year, band members had to drag all of their equipment and instruments to Coleman School, and they were only permitted to use the field once a week. With the new turf field finally in place, the marching band now has a place to practice and perfect their routines (almost) whenever they want.

The marching band has also incorporated a new way of teaching: breaking their pieces down into smaller parts. “I think the difference shows on the field. The marching is better and there is a huge improvement in posture and instrument position,” marching band director, Jeffery Kurland, said.

Rehearsal takes place during school ninth period every day; over the years, this has proven to have both pros and cons. “While marching band probably better lends itself to fewer- but longer- rehearsals, I am not sure we could sustain an extracurricular marching band,” Kurland said. “Students are so busy that I am not sure how many would be interested in doing this activity solely after school. On the flip side, the Concert Band would probably be larger if marching was not required.”

The band is led by drum major, Molly Cunningham, who was selected based on her leadership skills and her high level of respect from the fellow musicians. “She was one of the easier choices I have had to make for Drum Major,” Kurland said, “and she has done a fantastic job!”

If you’ve been to any of the varsity football games this season, you probably have heard the songs Great Balls of Fire, Dude Looks Like a Lady, and Carry On My Wayward Son. These songs are purchased in a predetermined “package” that comes with the drill and music already arranged. However, the difficulty is what really determines how extreme the show is. Kurland said, “Ultimately, the band members chose this show, and the fact that they ‘owned’ their choice seems to have made them eager to learn the music.”

Ever wonder where all enormous instruments come from? Well, Mr. Kurland provided the answer. “The school provides all the percussion instruments and larger woodwind and brass instruments like the tenor and bari sax and the marching baritone horn. The other instruments are owned by the students.”

You may see some unfamiliar faces in the marching band, since they aren’t yet in high school. “Not only do they help the band, by playing every day, as opposed to only a couple of times a week in middle school… [it] is great for them. They improve tremendously. They have been warmly accepted by the older members.” Six select eighth graders have been given the privilege to play based on their musical abilities, attitudes, and maturity level. This arrangement is a positive for both the band and the instrumentalists.

After all the motivation, hard work, and dedication that the marching band has put into their music this season, I am sure we will all be captivated by their performance at halftime during the homecoming football game next Saturday.