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Band braves new challenge

Sweat dripped down the marchers’ necks as they stood at attention; the sun beat down on them relentlessly. No breeze cooled their sweaty brows as they stood completely still.

Like the football team practicing on the other side of the field, band members endure long practices in the grueling sun. This year the band is faced with the new challenge of learning to march in parades and field show competitions.

“The biggest challenge in doing a field show is playing an instrument and marching at the same time,” Paul McEntee, campus band director, said. “It’s a new thing for everyone.”

Up until this year, the campus marching band only competed in local parades.

“Doing a field show at competitions will allow our music program to be seen by a lot more people,” McEntee said. “It’s neat to watch the finished product after you’ve put hours of hard work into it.”

Despite the additional work, most students are enthusiastic about competing in field show competition.

“Band is pretty interesting this year,” Peter Ocheltree, ’07, said. “Learning how to march is fun, but it can be challenging. The field show is fun, even though I’m in the pit. It’s neat to see everyone come together as a team and we’re off to a good start.”

Pit members do not march on the field with the band, but play larger instruments, like base drums or mallet percussion, on the sidelines.

Not all band members enjoy field shows.

“I hate marching season,” Young-Ju Cho, ’05, said. “Unfortunately, I have to participate in the parades so that I can play during concert season. I missed band camp, so it was really hard to catch up to what the rest of the band had already learned.”

Band members attended band camp to learn the basic fundamentals of marching and field show formations during Aug. 9-13.

“I love band,” Brittany Lauber, ’08, said. “It is a challenge for me to undertake, but I’m excited for it because I love to learn new things. I’m also in volleyball, so it’s hard to find time for both of them, especially when practices conflict with games.”

Despite the hard work, veteran members keep coming back.

“Band is hard but fun at the same time,” Alysa Muzny, ’05, said. “It feels great when we win, and we love to show off our coolness. The hard work always pays off.”

The campus marching band will be performing in several local parades and field show competitions around the Central Valley. The band’s first competition will be at the Caruthers Parade on Oct. 2. They will also attend all home football games to play for the crowd. The first home game is Sept. 17, against Strathmore.

For more information, contact McEntee at [email protected] or visit www.marching.com.

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