by Samantha Kelly
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Up to this point, the Monticello Marching band has been tirelessly working on their 2015-16 halftime show, which students can see at every home football game.
Not only do these dedicated ‘Stangs provide entertainment during halftime, but they also hype up the student section with their jam-worthy short tunes and drum beats, at the same time learning a sense of community, responsibility, and leadership.
“Marching band is basically your big extended family. … Everyone is always in the band room having a good time… and you’re going to be accepted for who you are no matter what,” said Drum Major Emarie Drake.
The Marching band consists of the drum major, drumline, pit, color guard, and the woodwinds and brass (the actual band.)
The Drum Major is a huge leadership role in the band, as they conduct and run many rehearsals. The leader of the ‘Stangs marching band is Emarie Drake. She and the band director Mr. Coston work together to make many important decisions about the group. This leadership position has taught her and others many things.
“The biggest thing I have learned is patience and how to deal with situations in stressful times. It has definitely helped me figure out how to handle things better then I would have before,” she said.
One of the main things that the marching band kids really enjoy is the camaraderie between the students.
“I am very glad that I joined marching band because you really do have a very close friend base and a lot of people to hang out with,” said Veronica Olson, a clarinet player.
Marching band isn’t all fun and games. It includes a lot of hard work.
“The hardest part about being in marching band is probably the time commitment. It’s a lot of time that we have to put in, but it all pays off in the end,” said Julia Landis, a Freshman flute player in the band.
“There have been times that have been rough, but the most fun is when we succeed in doing something and when we are proud of the work we put in. Such as the first time we marched our show or the first time we ran through a whole piece,” she said.
This talented group of individuals rehearse 3-4 times a week. In order to perfect their intriguing, the band practices Monday and Wednesday mornings at 7:30, Thursday after school, and before every Friday home game.
“A typical rehearsal day is going and doing rep after rep after rep after rep, and practicing music, and rep, and… well it’s just constant,” said Veronica.
Students wake up anywhere from 6 to 7 in the morning twice a week for these early morning rehearsals. Game days are a big time commitment as well. Some students get home as late as 11 or 11:30, because they have to make sure that everyone has a ride home and the band room needs to be cleaned up after a hectic night.
Another part of the Marching Band is the color guard. The color guard rehearses every day with the band kids, and attends and performs at all the games as well. Color guard could always use new and committed members for the 2016-17 season, as the program isn’t very large.
Color guard is very tough, especially because almost every member has never had experience with the skills the guard employs prior to entering the program.
“It is definitely worth it if you can learn to stick with it and love it,” said Selena Shifflett, a dedicated member of the guard. “It will be hard, but it will be rewarding.”
The marching band does more than just march, as they serve as the pep band as well. The pep band definitely adds to the atmosphere of the games, especially the student section.
“I do think the marching band effects games because last game when we had the rain delay, their stuff got wet and they couldn’t perform. I thought it was definitely less exciting and less loud,” said Stuart Thomas, a devoted mustang fan.
The marching band will be hosting and showcasing at the Jefferson Classic, which will take place on October 24th, 2015.
The most exciting part for the marching band students, however, is probably when the football players leave the field, the crowd turns their attention towards the halftime show, and the band marches on in perfect sync.
“Going out on the field is so exciting and nerve racking at the same time. You get a lot of adrenaline and it is very cool to have all the spectators watching you. Being able to conduct the band through that is just awesome,” said Emarie.