Marching to the beat of community

As the first notes played by the marching band reverberated in the football stadium on Aug. 27, the crowd grew quieter. Lifting his hands into the air, drum major Jonah Prober stood on a pedestal facing the field and conducted “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Towards the end of the anthem, members of the crowd joined in by singing the last few lines, ending in an eruption of cheers.

The responsiveness of the student section when the marching band played made it feel like everyone was working together to rev up school spirit, Prober said.

“Hearing students sing along was such a powerful moment,” said Prober. “The band was helping the student section, and the student section was helping the band.”

On the morning of Loyalty Day, a student started marching alongside Prober as he led the marching band through the career and technical education hallway, Prober said.

“His arms were swinging and everything,” said Prober. “I could see it out of my peripheral vision.

“I was on the verge of laughing, but I just tried to keep a straight face.”

According to freshman Ian Gau, marching through the halls on Loyalty Day was nerve-wracking at first, but seeing the reactions of students he passed allowed him to enjoy the experience.

“You see people watching in awe, especially the freshmen who haven’t really experienced this before,” said Gau. “I also see some people I know who can’t recognize me, so that’s funny.”

Senior members of marching band also help elevate the excitement during performances, Gau said.

“[Seniors] are… putting everything into [marching band] and bringing everyone else up to match their spirits,” Gau said.

The marching band is scheduled to have a normal competition season this year compared to last year, when they could not compete. Their last competition for the season is scheduled for Oct. 9.

According to band director Daniel Briggs, marching band is very service-oriented, aside from striving to perform well at competitions.

“[Marching band] is an organization that’s built around exulting the good works of others, hopefully bringing joy and spirit to the community,” said Briggs. “I love the other-centric nature.”

According to Prober, the most impactful parts of marching band are marching through the halls in the morning and playing at football games because both connect everyone in the school community.

The marching band also had to work much harder this year because the first competition was sooner than usual, Prober said.

“It’s amazing to see a band, which at the beginning of the summer could barely play the music given to them, marching in time and executing the music well,” said Prober. “[The band] moved from everyone acting as an individual to everyone working together at the end and seeming like a cohesive unit.”