OPINION: Why Band is Great

Image+courtesy+of+the+McIntosh+High+School+Band+Facebook+page%2C+and+canva

Savannah Hayes

Image courtesy of the McIntosh High School Band Facebook page, and canva

Savannah Hayes, Staff Writer

Bands including, but not limited to the types such as marching, concert, and jazz reside in lots of schools across the world. According to Barbara Baker, McIntosh High school’s band director, 251 students at MHS are in the Spirit of McIntosh Marching Band, color guard, jazz, and concert bands. This number could include students that may be counted multiple times if they are in multiple-band classes. This is 15.39 percent of the student body. Baker has been teaching for 30 years and participated in band in her youth. She has been teaching marching and concert bands for 24 years at McIntosh. The assistant band director, Lawrence Willams, has been teaching for five years and also participated in band in his youth. This is his second year teaching marching and concert bands at McIntosh. With so many students that put their time as well as effort into band, it is needless to mention how important band is to McIntosh.
It is often said in the band community that the band’s spirit is the first thing a student hears when they enter a school as a freshman and the last thing they hear when they graduate four years later as a senior. I think this is a great activity to be a part of and involved in all of these many students’ lives. Not only does the marching band perform at every football game in the stands, but it also does the halftime show. There are countless practices across all aspects to make the band better. Many students join concert bands because their parents were in a band in their high school and or middle school years.
“I thought it would be fun, and my family did it.” said freshman intermediate band student and in marching band Hannah Yates.
Someone may want to join a band not only because they feel it would be fun, but because maybe a relative or family member played in their high school band. Band is a great way to make new friends, and in doing so make great memories every day, whether it be at a competition, practice, or just cause you’re having fun and learning music in class.
Sophomore Amelia Ruth, an advanced band and marching band participant, said, “[M]y grandparents met playing the trombone and my mother played the trombone so I felt like it was my family duty to play the trombone.” Ruth, like Yates, also joined the band because her family played the trombone, Ruth decided to play the same exact instrument and continue the family tradition of playing the trombone.
Not only can you show appreciation to your family but the band is also very enjoyable and there are a whole lot of reasons to join the band. Students can learn to take risks responsibly considering that students perform in front of big crowds year-round. This can bring fear of the unknown, going against the fear to perform can help students to gain confidence. Not only this but teamwork abilities are also very important to the band. If you are not already a team player, joining the band will help you gain some sort of teamwork ability.

Black said,

“The band is only as strong as its weakest link” can be heard by many bands everywhere, because if not everyone is doing their best work then no one is. These are just a few of the many benefits of both marching band and concert band.”

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Band can be seen on the resume of many famous people such as Gwen Stefani who played the flute in her high school marching band, Steven Tyler played the trumpet, Nelly Furtado played the trombone, and Sara Evans played the clarinet. Not only have many famous people played instruments, but it also teaches you that you will not always win. There are many competitions that you compete in through the season, and you can’t win all of them. This being said, you learn from the information and tasks that the judges have mentioned you lack in and use that to help you to do better in the next competition. As well, marching bands hold a great spot in teamwork practices. Teamwork can be seen in all marching bands.
“The band is only as strong as its weakest link” can be heard by many bands everywhere, because if not everyone is doing their best work then no one is. These are just a few of the many benefits of both marching band and concert band.
In reference to the benefits of band Marissa Tapiz a junior intermediate band said, “[I]t gives people a safe space to do something outside of academics, and it’s also a class where you can do something as a group”
Though there are many great reasons to join the band, it is not always for everyone. Band can include scheduling conflicts, and covid turning schools virtual have also affected the stability of many band students and their ability to continue in playing their instruments.
Sophomore Sarah Wilson said “[W]hy would I practice for something I don’t like.” She said this referring to why she quit the band.
When asked the same question sophomore Kaelyn Ester said “I was virtual last year, we took my instrument back to music and arts.”
Though there can be many reasons to quit a band, there are just as many if not more that can make a student want to stay. Though there has been a lot of concert and marching band talk, here there is also a jazz band at McIntosh. In that jazz class, there are 24 students that have an interest in jazz music and jazz band instead of concert band. Concert band pertains to really any music while jazz band classes stick to jazz.
When asked why she joined a jazz band instead of concert junior Rachel Slepicka who is in jazz band and the marching band said “[J]azz band is all about becoming a better musician with the feeling you can put into a piece. Sure we learned the basics and the music we get is written a certain way but as a group, we’ll change things or add things in to change the vibe of this song.”
In Slepicka’s case, it is shown that jazz bands may give a musical student the opportunity to have more creative ability when it comes to their music. While there are jazz bands and concert bands, there are also different parts to the Marching band. One variance is that in the Marching band there are also students who do not play instruments, this being called Color Guard. Color guard can be a good alternative if you do not want to play an instrument, but still want to feel included in band activities or are interested in band.
Sanna Wright, a senior in color guard said “We get to dance and learn choreography [to] make the show more interesting, the music is important, but the color guard really ties everything together and helps to make the theme of it more apparent.”
Lyric Henderson, a freshman color guard member said “I chose color guard because I really knew some of the people that had joined [in] previous years and they said that I would be good at it.”
Reagan Vetter, junior color guard leadership member said “Color guard is one of my favorite things, I love performing with my friend and traveling to competitions. Leadership has always pushed me to [be] better and encouraged me to try new things, so I’m excited to be able to [do] that for current and upcoming rookies.”
The Spirit of McIntosh Marching Band like most other marching bands has a leadership team. They are students who have been in marching band in years past that play a strong role in helping it to be the past it can be. They help to correct first-year marchers, and without them, the marching band would definitely not be the same.
Senior Tony Qin in the mastery band and a marching band low brass leadership member said “Being in leadership requires a lot of work and effort, coming in early and staying late, but it’s really satisfying to see the work pay off.”
“When I first joined, I did not think I would enjoy marching band enough to stay for more than one season, but after my freshman season, I knew I wanted to be a leader one day,” said senior Carolyn Black, a woodwind leadership member and is in mastery band, “[T]he leadership team has definitely made changes together in that we have pushed the rookies farther than we were pushed as rookies, which will hopefully influence them to push future rookies beyond what they think [they] are capable of. In the future, I hope that this will allow the band [to] become better every year.
Not only are all of these things great, but they transfer more to how awesome the band is in general. As well as how amazing all of the people are in the band and how it is basically impossible to not make friends in the band.

“I am extremely proud of how the season is going, considering half the band has never ma[r]ched a show before and the other half hasn’t ma[r]ched in 2 years,” said Black.