The Knights band is led by Leon Slater. They have been preparing to perform in the Griz homecoming parade for months. That includes memorizing music, strengthening the musicians, and the formation that everyone needs to follow. The behind-the-scenes for a marching band is crazier than it seems.
Slater said, “My students are by far the best thing about band. Their energy and spirit is a joy to be a part of as a teacher.” The more the better, according to Slater.
The marching band is a combination of three classes, which means there are multiples of each instrument, ranging from the smallest section, the oboe, to the largest section, the trumpets, with 30 players. The marching band is open to anyone, and is always welcoming new students who have played band in the past, or can read music.
“Marching Band is a physically demanding job for anyone carrying a large instrument,” Slater said. When everyone is together and practicing, they practice marching while playing, trying to build up to the mile and a half march. To prepare the music they started months ago, especially with the song being new for them this year. That, as well as making sure they can march in time, is a tough challenge for the Hellgate band.
Jamie Eppich, a student at Hellgate who participates in the marching band, said, “It all comes with hard work, determination, and time, so we started working on the piece a while ago.”
The colder weather was a big fear for most of the players, because muscles tense up, and fingers feel as if they are going to fall off. “My favorite part of marching band is mostly the people and the environment. It’s such a fun and amazing time,” Eppich said.
The marching band is a great way to be a part of school spirit, and an opportunity to be around an amazing group of people who love doing what they do.