Marching to the beat of their own drums

Charley Pierce
Charley Pierce
Charley Pierce is a junior at the high school. This is her first year being on the newspaper team. She enjoys reading more than writing but also just being able to be creative. She works at Walmart and enjoys playing Animal Crossing and listening to music.

Muscatine Living

When we think of fall, we think of many things like leaves turning and cold weather. Some may also think of the football games we all know and love. Our football, cheer, and pom teams all practice so hard for all of us to watch and hear, but one group often gets looked over on our Friday nights.

Marching band practices starts bright and early every morning from August to the end of October. Everyone is on the field by 7 a.m. and ready to practice. Gavin McLeod, a junior, is one of our band’s drum majors and helps set up and direct rehearsals: “being a drum major is a huge honor, and a huge responsibility. You are in charge of most of the daily tasks. Whenever anyone needs something, they come to you. You are, all things considered, the director’s second-hand helpers,” he said.

Whilst Gavin loves the band, he knows it can’t be perfect: “I think one thing I would change about the band would be people’s commitment. It is hard for the band to be its best when people don’t give 100%. I think it’s great that people try it out, but if you want to do it, give your all!” Gavin said.

Gavin has a lot of responsibilities and has to put a lot of work and time into the band, but he says it all pays off: “the best part of being drum major is seeing the drill come together, and hearing the music do the same. When you’re on the field, it is a lot harder to take any of that in, but on the podium, it is so much easier,” Gavin said.

Marching Band Invitational, 2022. Photo courtesy Muscatine High School Auroran Today staff.

Being a member of marching band looks different than being a drum major. Being so early in the morning, it can be hard to get up and going in the morning, but Lee Nienhaus, a junior, doesn’t mind the early mornings: “you get up super early every day to be on the field by seven. We do kind of a funny ‘stretch’ routine every morning and then start working the show from a certain point. So the tiredness goes away. Plus, with all the noise we make, it would be hard to stay asleep,” Lee said.

Although Lee doesn’t have as many responsibilities, he still puts his everything into it: “marching band is my entire life for the first three months of school. Everything I do from August to October revolves around marching band because it’s really important to me. Marching band is a performing art and the stage just happens to be a football field.” Lee said.

Lee also does band during the summer. Lee goes to band camp to prepare him for the upcoming year: “Every year the first week of August is dedicated eight to five to teaching marching techniques and working the show on the field. It’s really fun every year to show up and get to know all of the new people and connect with them musically,” Lee said.

Although they are often forgot or overlooked, marching band puts in a lot of effort, time, and sweat to pull off the things they do. They definitely do much more than marching.

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