Marching Means More

BHS Marching Band Goes Beyond Just Half-Time Shows

Skylar Bowman, Staff Writer

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The BHS Marching Band does a lot more than just occupy the BHS football field during halftime shows. On Oct. 29, the marching band won a silver medal at the MICCA (Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association) finals, one of the two competitions they went to this year.

The marching band competes two to three times a year and plays in many parades, including ones for Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Band members put in a lot of time and effort into preparing for these shows and competitions.

“Believe it or not we rehearse twelve plus hours a week,” said trumpet player and junior Matthew McCauley.

The marching band hires a company to write their drills, or the movements they do on the field. This year they hired the company Creative Marching Solutions. David Schroeter, the director of the music department and the marching band, said he talks with them about the band’s capabilities before they design a show that’s tailored to the students’ skill level. They are expected to practice over the summer and show up at the school in August for early rehearsals so they can prepare for the upcoming football season and competitions, as well as start to readjust to the new school year. Before competition season ends, they rehearse three times a week, said senior Patrik Higgins, one of the two drill majors.

“Our combined effort during rehearsal determines our combined outcome at the concert,” is a short phrase that Schroeter has written on the band room’s white board, highlighting the teamwork that goes into marching band.

This past fall the marching band went to two competitions, competing in Division I, the MICCA Southeast competition at Norwood High school, and the previously mentioned MICCA finals at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. At these competitions different parts of the marching band are all scored separately, but are considered together for the final score, the parts consisting of the woodwinds, brass, percussion, and color guard. They are scored based on their sound, the music they play, and their overall look, posture, and timing, said Schroeter.

In each performance the band has to move as a “single unit,” Schroeter said. The group has to be in time with the music, their formation has to be correct, and their feet have to be facing the same way, all while putting on a great show.

This year they performed music from captain America, Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman in their performance titled “Comic Book Heroes”.

“It’s music with a definite theatrical flare,” Schroeter said.

At the MICCA Southeast competition Barnstable took home a bronze. At finals they made the improvements they needed to and earned a silver, a medal that Higgins said they hadn’t yet earned his whole band career, which he started in eighth grade.

“I’m proud of what we did,” Higgins said.

The marching band at BHS provides not only quality music and performances, but offers a lot to the students who are in it. Students don’t have to go on to major in music to get something out of it, said Schroeter.

The team aspect and friendships formed are great aspects of marching band, agreed both McCauley and Higgins.

“Marching band offers so much to our students, both musically and socially,” said Schroeter.