Band Marches Around New Schedule Change

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Marching Mustangs show of 2017 routine at band camp.

Marching Mustangs show of 2017 routine at band camp.

Marching Mustangs show of 2017 routine at band camp.

Carson Beck, Assistant Sports Editor

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With this year’s change in schedule, the 200-member marching band faced the obstacle of being divided among the various periods as opposed to practicing as an unit during one period.  

 “It’s very different not having the whole band together because there is a lot of open space [with the missing students in other periods]. It requires students to play with more independence because there are less people performing the music,” said Andrew Sturgeon, band director.

 The band no longer practices songs and drills together for 90 minutes as they did on the block schedule. Now members rehearse in smaller groups that are spread out through eight, 50-minute classes.

  “In order to teach the concert bands and the marching bands successfully, we combined two of the concert bands together to form half the marching band and the other two concert bands to form the other half of the marching band,” said Sturgeon.    

  The band also changed how they approach out-of-class rehearsals to make up for the shorter class times during the day.

 For instance, the marching band learned the majority of its season’s songs during summer band camp rather than just a portion of them.

  “For the first time we learned the first four out of five songs over the course of band camp,” said Senior saxophone section leader Carter Pacis. “Usually in band camp we maybe learn two or three in a band camp week. We knew this year we had only a limited amount of reps that we would rehearse together, so this year we really focused, worked hard and stayed on task.”

  Additionally, the band directors introduced a nightly rehearsal each week for the entire band to practice together.

 “I often see a level of confidence boost in the band when they are together specifically in the once-a-week, nightly rehearsals. We often encourage the band to play together and the same when they are separated during the day rehearsals,” said Jerald Shelato, band director.

  Although the change has affected how band members go about their daily rehearsals, some students said they like the new format.

“At daily rehearsal, it’s pretty productive,” said Senior clarinet section leader Eubin Kim. “Not having everyone there helps [us] learn quicker and is more productive because it’s a smaller group. It’s more efficient because more people would hold us back more. When we get together at nightly rehearsal, we already know what we’re doing.”

 The band directors also were optimistic about how the band members have handled the changes.

 Sturgeon said, “The band has shown through band camp and in its rehearsals so far that it is a pretty resilient group, and the band this year has picked up on ‘we got to get stuff done now’.”

 

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Band Marches Around New Schedule Change