In high school, many people praise athleticism and make idols of the star athletes. I am surprised by how little of that praise is directed toward marching bands, though. It’s actually much more difficult and tasking than people think! As a general statement, each member of the band has to remember every single movement, every single piece of music to be played, and how these two items are to be played or marched. Not only is it tasking mentally, but physically as well. For example, every marching player carries their own, usually heavy, metal instrument by only the strength of their shoulders for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. On top of holding the instruments up, marchers need to actually move their legs in time and march with very precise, grueling technique that requires balance, coordination, and simple muscle power.
One band that should always come to mind when thinking of marching is Moon Area High School Marching band. Through hours of hard work and excellent leadership, the group has mastered all techniques of marching, balance, form, and musical ability. Every Tuesday and Friday evening from five to seven in the evenings, the Moon Area High School Marching Band is led through practice by Mr. James Davis, the school’s respected Band Director. The band has won a couple awards, including 12th Place at West Allegheny’s Cavalcade of bands! In fact, Moon has only rightfully won two awards in the last 30 years of performing. Recently, I was given the prestigious opportunity to sit in on one of Moon’s practices and observe the structure of the band from the inside. What I saw while sitting in the upper stands of the rehearsal stadium wasn’t shocking in the slightest; hard work, disciplined instructors, and even more adamant musical members of the band. “Alright guys,” Mr. Davis said with a smirk on his face, “Now we’re gonna work on bent knees during the half-time marching.” The apathetic groan that came from their heads pleased him...
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