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Marching for Success

Band prepares for UIL

Kiersten Eifert

Kiersten Eifert

Natasa Dobras, Staff Writer

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Standing along the white lines on the bright green football field is a group of students wearing matching uniforms, holding a variety of instruments. Off to the side, another group of students wearing bright uniforms patiently wait holding flags in their hands. As a familiar beat starts, the students begin moving off the white lines and into specific formations. Flags start flying in the air as music floods the stadium. This is the Randall Band, lead by director Ginger Denney.

“We have close to 200 students in band this year, which is the largest band Randall has had in quite some time,” Denney said. “Our show is different every year and we attend various marching contests during the season.”

The marching band season began Aug. 1, the first rehearsal of the season. Throughout the summer, the students in band prepared for the season by learning music, marching fundamentals and drill. These students rehearse in the morning every day with one rehearsal at night per week. According to Denney, this year is special for band.

“This year is a state year,” Denney said. “In band, we are only allowed to qualify for state every other year so this is a big deal. We are working hard to try and make it to the state marching contest.”

According to Denney, students who are willing to put in effort and time are the major requirements to be a part of marching band. In order to maintain order and efficiency in the band, certain students are given leadership roles to help guide the band.  One of these leaders is the drum major, Kenzie Srader.

The drum major is the director’s right hand man,” Srader said. “Everyone is always watching you no matter what you are doing; you have to lead by example. You have to get there earlier than the band to make sure everything is ready for the day and everyone knows what they are doing.”

According to Srader, the band is working harder this year than in previous years. Freshmen are eager to learn, and the majority of the students are performing simple tasks such as setting the chairs in the band hall or setting up the marching field.

“I think the band is prepared for this season,” Srader said. “We learned 10 sets in three days. People that are not in band might think that’s not a lot, but it is amazing that we learned that in such a little time. The show music is catchy and people are loving the sounds.”

Alongside Srader and Denney, is another leader among the band; section leader, Blake Phelan. His responsibility is to provide tutoring, encouragement, materials or anything else his section needs in order to perform at maximum efficiency. Phelan said the band is not quite ready for the season just yet.

“We’ve only had one performance of only the first 24 sets of about 50 total,” Phelan said. “Many think that marching is only walking in step, but marching requires many muscles throughout the body working in unison as well as the intense amount of concentration required to memorize both the music and the sets.”

Denney said with the Homecoming game approaching this Friday, the band expects to see a larger audience, since former band graduates attend the game. The Homecoming game is also a very popular game because the school does not have a Homecoming dance, so many students make an effort to attend the game. Denney said this is a great opportunity for the band to showcase their hard work.

“(Homecoming) is very similar to other games, the only differences being that halftime is a little different because of homecoming court festivities,” Phelan said. “We are allowed to have band outsiders in the stands with us in the form of our dates.

Normally, the band students are not allowed to have any outsiders in the designated band section of the stands. Denney makes an exception for this rule only for the Homecoming game.

“Mrs. Denney says that she knows how important it is to have our high school homecoming,” Srader said. “Since the school does not have a dance, she makes it where we still get a homecoming.”

Homecoming dates accompany the band students for the Homecoming game, but for an average game, they only have each other for company. According to Phelan, this is the best part about band because he says he feels like he has another family outside of his biological one.

“Being in band helps you build relationships and memories,” Srader said. “My best memories in high school are in and band and with the people in band.”

In accordance with memories and relationships, the band students learn valuable skills such as discipline, teamwork, and resilience, according to Denney. Srader says that she has learned work ethic, time management, and trust from being a part of marching band. For Phelan, he said he has learned leadership and how to be a role-model for others.

Our students work really hard,” Denney said. “They have pride in what they do and pride in being a member of the Randall Band.”

 

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