By Gabbi Ramos
(Photo credit provided by Sharon Fonzo)
You hear them at the football games. You hear them storm the halls. The sound that seeps through your classrooms walls: Poston Butte’s Marching Band. A prestigious group of musicians who classify themselves in specific skill sets. Poston Butte’s band is number one, but what makes the band so great?
Mr.Woode, the band director, shares the process of joining band, “You have to know how to play your instrument. Most start in elementary school-fifth grade, sixth grade. Brass instruments like a trombone or trumpet. French horn, tuba, baritone. Clarinet, flute, saxophone bass drum, snare drum, quad, or symbols. Either way, all of which you’ve had to have prior experience before high school.”
One of the marching band members, Gwendolyn St. Clair Fowler , a sophomore, shares how she started out in band, “I started in 5th grade and progressed as years went by”
Another marching band member, Gary Farnsworth, a freshman, shares how he started out in band, “It’s actually my very first year in band. I’m in percussion, but I don’t have to know how to read music, which is the general information that almost every band kid knows.”
Mr.Woode also explains the busy schedule that often comes with joining the marching band.
“During the school day, we practice for an hour. Tuesdays, we have evening rehearsal for two hours. Usually, within the marching band itself, section leaders within each section will tend to have a one hour sectional, on any given day, during the week. Outside of class time and outside of rehearsal time. Then, with most Friday’s being guaranteed for football games, you are expected to attend if it a home game. Two hours before the game starts, you are there until the game ends.”
Not only does the band have to constantly practice, but they also have a duty of ensuring they master their part of a performance.
“One of the programs that give each individual a job to do. Each instrument has their place and they rely on each other to play the right things at the right time. It creates a dependance and a community. A feel of unity within the band.”
After hours spent practicing and lots of high expectations to meet, Mr.Woode shares how this stress only brings the band closer together.
“We are all very close. I think of myself as a mentor but also an additional father figure. I sometimes see them more than even their own households do.”
Gwendolyn shares what band has meant for her,“Being in band has allowed me to create new friendships and express myself through music.”
Gary shares his inspiration to join band, “My father encouraged me to join. He thought it would be a good opportunity for me and so far it has been.”
Mr.Woode also shares how his childhood dream was to become a band teacher, “I was in band all through elementary school, middle school, high school. In college, I went to become a band director, because my high school band director’s passion made it so much fun for me. I wanted to be just like them.”
In conclusion, Mr.Woode has not ceased to express how much the band contributes positively to the lives of all involved with it. That to be a marching band member, you’ve got to be more than Bronco Strong.