Band Together

The marching band is a group of around 150 kids that practice for an hour each weekday and perform at every home game. Their purpose is to provide a fun show for the football spectators to watch as they wait for the next half of the game to commence. This year the band was able to do something amazing: for the first time, they truly connected with the student section and the crowd during the football games.
Altogether the band spent 20 hours during the summer preparing for their school performances. Each year, the amount of time the marching band spends during the summer increases which allowed the band to pull off greater feats. Maggie Jokinen, a two time All-State bassoonist and drum major of the 2016 marching band, said that over the course of the past four years, “the band has grown significantly, allowing us to do more complex formations on the field. Now…we are well on our way to becoming a competitive marching band”. The extra time put into practice allowed the band to perform drills where each person had their own unique routine, which provided a huge challenge to the band.
The 2016 marching band season also allowed the band to show off their fun side. The most memorable performance during the season occurred at the homecoming football game, where the band members both sang and danced wildly during the song “Shut Up and Dance”. Nicole Bellis, a four time All-State oboist and drum major, said that “we were actually engaging the crowd, and the student section was actually clapping along and jumping around with us”. For the band seniors, this was an especially incredible moment because for most, it was the highlight of band throughout all the years of marching.
In the future, the marching band would like to continue moving forward to the point of being able to compete with other bands. Justin Schramm, a band director at Prior Lake High School, says that when it comes to the improvement of the marching band, “there is no finish line, just possibilities”. The band directors and drum majors agree that the band has made significant improvements in the last four years alone; if the band continues at the pace they’re going now, there will be no limit to what they’ll be able to do in the future.
The legacy of the 2016 marching band will continue to affect the underclassmen for years to come. Nicole Bellis, when talking about her favorite part of being drum major, said “People look up to you and you know that so you just push yourself to be the best you can be. And I hope that Maggie and I have made an impact on all the underclassmen and that they’ll try to be leaders when they’re older as well”. All in all, the band hopes that the underclassmen stay inspired to continue improving their individual marching skills and to have a good attitude about marching band as a whole.