Strenuous Practices for Glorious Shows

The marching band practices their formations during a beautiful sunset.

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The marching band practices their formations during a beautiful sunset.

The audience sits in the football stadium, buzzing with excitement. Suddenly, the announcement sounds, signaling Denmark’s marching band. The thunderous echo of the first notes ring throughout the stadium, a surge of energy rushing through everyone. The band members move in a synchronized rhythm, bringing awe to people in the crowd. Such a feat would not have been possible without hours of practice. 

During the summer, the marching band had many practices to perfect their art. Thomas Pajares, a senior trombone player, says, “They were very grueling, it was very hot out and it was the most amount of hours we’ve put in any season ever. They were 12-hour days, so that was really tough.” They worked through the scorching heat outside, every day. The members built up a lot of endurance through grueling outdoor hours playing their instruments. This adds a completely new aspect of training to the band.

The band members also have lives outside of band, such as other summer activities and acclimating to new environments. Keth Edupuganti, a junior, had Boy Scouts meetings and trips while balancing marching band with it. He says, however, it pays off, “Once you perform, it feels nice that you did what you could.” A freshman, Kayla Bae, who’s adjusted to her glimpse of high school during the summer, gleefully explains, “We’re basically all a family now, they really helped me…build up all the strength.” Fellow band members come together to keep one another going and making sure that everyone is comfortable. 

Not only do they have to play their instruments perfectly, but they also form eye-catching patterns and routines on the field to bring other elements to their performances. They need coordination, repetition, and accuracy. Thomas explains, “If you have a diagonal line on the field and it looks like a scatter plot, you don’t want that.” They get judged on both music and entertaining visuals. The members keep their mindset dedicated to their part and quickly correct any unintentional slip-ups. 

After all of this effort, the results are worth the tiring practices. Kate Hinton, a sophomore, exclaims, “It feels really rewarding because you have so many rehearsals for so long, that once you actually get to the competitions it’s just the best feeling.”

During a water gun fight, marching band members bond over the refreshing fun. (April Clark)

Feeling supported and truly motivated to continue with marching band, freshman Kayla passionately conveys, “You’ve been through all the blood, sweat, and tears and you finally made your first performance… it feels great.” At the end of the day, getting through the demanding practices feels worth it when one gets the thrill of showing off.  

These vibrant shows at games would not have been possible without the incredibly talented marching band community and their coaches. While practicing for it may seem difficult, pulling off the bewitching visuals and music makes it all worth it. Keth, the junior, gives advice to what he would’ve said to his younger self starting marching band, “Be more energetic and go more into it, you don’t want to regret anything. Try to do your best!”