By: Calista Boggess
As I twirl my flag I look around to see horns pointed high, swift roll stepping, and determination. The crowd erupts in applause when we finish. On the other hand, I’m sitting nervously awaiting the curtain to open, but after it does I know we’ve already won by the first note played.
The differences between marching band and concert band may not seem big to people who are not involved; however, they are. Differences include practices, competitions, and music.
Marching season starts a week after the Fourth of July parade for all band members. Band camp is included in these practices. Band camp is a week for band members to stay at Cedar Lakes to learn the entire field show from morning to night, with breaks. During this time, players memorize music, places to hit while performing, and how to fit into those places.
“Band camp’s exhausting, but in the end it’s worth it because it gets you in shape for marching season,” said sophomore Chance Jewel.
Not long after, Friday night football games begin where the marching band stars in the halftime show. The band goes to every game and also goes to their own competitions on Saturdays. It is a lot of hard work and time but the thrill of winning difficult competitions makes it all worthwhile.
Practices for concert band are reduced from after school and in class to only in class practices.
“In marching band people are closer than in concert band, because we all practice together at school, after school, and in the summer. In concert band we practice together in class but also individually outside of class,” said senior Kara Shamblin.
Concert band has a completely different sound than marching. Marching band has fun, short songs that go with the show theme, while concert band has longer, more difficult, and more emotional pieces. A piece being played this year is “The Witch and the Saint”. It has a heartfelt story, and it’s a grade five music (which is the most difficult), causing the piece to be four pages long.
The concert band learns music for the Christmas concert, adjudication, and the spring concert. Adjudication is a competition between bands in the state where they perform and get rated different numbers where they perform and receive scores in chronological order. One being the highest and four being the lowest. Ripley High has proudly received ones across the board for 12 years now.
“Adjudication is the one day all of the band kids get serious because we know how important it is for us to get a good rating,” said senior Ashley Knox.
Students have marching band for half the year and concert band for the second half. It is all under band in the transcript because students cannot quit marching band and stay in concert band the next year and vise versa. However, the focuses are different. With marching band students focus on staying in straight lines and the general look of the performance. Music is important, but it is only half of the show. While in concert band all attention is on making the music sound perfect.
Now that concert season is in full swing, band members are striving to do well and showcase their hard work at Adjudication April 6. Band members are excited for the rest of this concert season and next marching season, even though Sherri Poole will no longer be the director, Jeanette Bowlby will be.