Arts and Culture

Marching Band: A Lifestyle Choice

By Kayla Coursey
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2014

Notes in step and feet in beat, the Marching band practically danced across the field to their synchronized choreography. The Monticello marching band provides music and spirit to pep rallies, cheering for the Mustangs at every touch down and rallying the student section. They’re music raises energy levels to a constant buzz of excited chatter as the game goes on.

This group of spirited Mustangs meets up to four times a week, Monday and Wednesday mornings as well as after school Thursday and Friday, to perfect their routine. Their music is entirely memorized and their movements synchronized, and they are always open to new members.

“I want people to just come in,” says Mr. Coston, the band director. He has high hopes of what the Monticello marching band could become. “I want to build the color guard.”

Marching band is made up of the band, the drum major, and the color guard. The color guard provides a visual ensemble with choreography to go along with the music the band plays, often accompanied by rifles, flags, or sabers.

The drum major at Monticello High School is Ruby Garofalo (grade 12), who can be spotted leading the band onto the field wherever they might be. Her job is to keep the group together and to conduct the others in their performances as well as serve as the singular person to represent the school at competitions.

On the 25th of October, the Monticello Marching band will be at a competition in Powhatan. They will perform in full uniform for a panel of judges. These judges give scores based on music, movement, and uniform as well as an overall score. Anywhere from eight to 30 other bands might be performing at a competition, each prepared with their own six to seven minute long routine overseen by the Drum Major.

The marching band is just a small portion of the music program here at Monticello High School. Other programs, like the color guard, are always looking for new members to join their programs. The band programs are relatively small and always have room to expand. The people involved and the dedication of the people involved in this program reflect the lifestyle that these students lead, marching to the beat of their own drum line.

Marching band isn’t only a band, but a community.

“Coming into high school, marching band has been one of the best experiences . . . everyone took me in,” says Ruby. “I don’t really have to hide who I am.”

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