What is it like to be in Marching Band?

What is it like to be in Marching Band?

Hannah Mueller

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We’ve all seen the band playing wonderful instruments in harmony, or the color guard tossing and twirling their bright flags at some point. We have seen them at games or at one of their competitions. However, most students that are not in band or do not know anyone in band, may not fully understand the amount of time and practice put into these routines that seem so effortless. Behind the curtains of the band, there is rigorous training and practice to get everything to flow perfectly in sync with every note, step, and toss.

The marching band and color guard even practice all together over the summer. These meet ups to practice are simply called ‘Band Camp’. Over a course of ten days in July, everyone in band and color guard practice for ten hours a day. Each experience is different according the section you are in. Once school is back in session, the band practices two days a week and Saturday mornings for about 3-4 hours or so.  Color guard also practices alongside band and according to color guard, McKenzi Weatherhogg, practices are, “Very intense, very physically demanding, but a lot of fun.” While euphonium player, Javier Florez, describes the band practices similarly as, “Strict, repetitive, fun, full of life, challenging, demanding, and stress relieving.” So, while practice is very involved and exhausting, it’s nevertheless a fun and lively experience.


A question does come to mind though, how does one balance all this work and training with your academics? McKenzi says the way that she balances all of the work is by, “doing what can in FLEX, and then immediately after school finish what I can. If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, I eat and if I’m not finished, I finish when I get home.” So, thankfully, it seems as though our new FLEX period, in addition to making and keeping strict schedules and routines seems to help these young performers strike the balance between school and band. Most members practice on their own time as well, Javier states that he, “practice as much as I can.” and most of his personal practices last “twenty minutes to forty minutes.” The more practice, the quicker you learn and the more you can improve for competitions.

Finally, once all the hard works pays off, the feeling of pride and joy washes over the band. For most in the band, there isn’t anything better than being able to have an amazing performance. Both of the people I have interviewed claim that being able to perform their spectacular routines brings them a sense of fearlessness and triumph. So, to answer the question, what is it like to be in marching band? Well, being in band is working to your fullest to achieve the greatness as a group, enduring intense practicing, blessing water breaks, and knowing that at the end of the day, you’ve been welcomed into one big musical family.