A Glimpse of Forthcoming From The Eyes of a Band Member

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Kelsey Burdick, Web Designer

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Out of breath, you stare up at the crowd, their applause roaring as you stand on the field. Four beats of a drum and you turn, guiding yourself in perfect rhythm off the field with a sense of pride and accomplishment. This is what it’s like to be in marching band.

Forthcoming is this Saturday, and the forthcoming game on Thursday was an important event. As our school continues to grow, our extracurriculars do as well. Our football team has been improving, our dance team is now a drill team, and our cheerleaders are louder than ever. Within that evolvement is our band program.

Band is a big part of my life, and it’s a demanding extracurricular. There are two main parts to band. In the beginning of the year there’s marching season, and the year ends with concert season. Marching season lasts until late October, close to when football season ends. The band learns and performs two main shows with the color guard.

The spirit show includes the entire band, and is played at most half times during football games. It isn’t horribly difficult, and the music is similar to the songs played at pep rallies, they make the crowd excited.

The contest show is much more difficult and requires auditioning because not everyone makes it. This year’s performance of “Tech-Tonic” is based on the idea of technology growing and evolving, and it combines many aspects and skills of marching band that we didn’t have last year.

The band had been learning the show all year with morning and afternoon practices, and in the heat and rain. There are a lot of fun moments during practice, but everyone is serious and dedicated to making the show the best that it can be.

The game was the first time the band marched the show in a real stadium, and everyone was wearing their full marching uniform. Because it was the Forthcoming game, everyone wore their mums and garters, though some of us had difficulty because our instrument comes across our chest.

As a sousaphone, the marching version of a tuba, my section and I loaded first with the percussion and front ensemble. We drove to The Star, and everyone on the bus was excited but focused.

When we got there we unloaded and the eighth graders from our district’s middle schools joined us. Lebanon Trail has the most sousaphones in the district, with a total of 11, and 16 all together in the stands including the eighth graders. Even though we only have two grade levels of band members, the combination of our band and the middle school band was extremely powerful, and we filled the stands.

All of the students that were there displayed their Blazer spirit, and the colors, signs, and energy made the game even more exciting, especially when we scored and everyone jumped up and started yelling. A lot of people both in and not in band didn’t even really know the rules of football, but they still came to the game in groups of friends and classmates. Everyone was united as members of Lebanon Trail, so it didn’t matter.

The game started and we alternated between cheering like lunatics, playing stands tunes like “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars and “Believer” by the Imagine Dragons, and dancing together to the drum cadences. The eighth graders played Lebanon Trail’s fight song with us along with other stand tunes they knew, and we taught them the dances we did when only the drums were playing. The band’s leadership team, including our section leaders and band council members, passed out goodie bags with candy, and everyone got to know each other.

Throughout the game different people merged with the band as parents, friends, and dates all came to hang out with us. My date to forthcoming came and sat with the tubas, and everyone got even more hyped as the game continued on.

Then the second quarter ended, and it was halftime. When there were ten minutes left we all filed out of the stands with the woodwinds leading, and we arranged ourselves in arcs next to the field. The eighth graders stayed in the stands as we warmed up, and we marched in place along with our music. We entered the field at halftime, and as the announcer introduced us and the drum majors gave us our tempo, we started.

Marching a full contest show is pretty difficult, and the sousaphone was a 19 pound weight digging into my shoulder. Everyone was tired when we made it back to the stands, and we took a break so the middle schoolers could try using the marching instruments.

In the third quarter our band director from last year Mr. Holzer stopped by and everyone wanted to go and greet him. He stayed with the band directors from Clark, and it was like a God had decided to sit with our band. He had to leave a while before the end of the event, but it was great that he came to visit.

Unfortunately we lost the game by two points, but in the end everyone was happy because our band had performed amazingly. We said goodbye to the eighth graders as they left earlier than us, and we thanked them for coming to play with us and a lot of them said that they hoped they could join us next year.

When we left and got back to the school, we gathered in the band hall for a post game meeting. Mr. Schaul gave us pointers on things he noticed that we could do better, as well as things we did well, and Mrs. Wykoff gave our parting speech. As the night ended, the drum majors dismissed us and everyone went home.

After a long night, and many stressful weeks of practice, I think the band is finally ready for our upcoming competitions. This marching season, I think not only will our band come home with trophies, but so will the rest of our fine arts and extracurricular. As the school grows, so do our accomplishments. Now’s our time Blazers, we are going to be undeniably great.