The return of marching band


Harper Clark

10th-12th grade marching band students practice their newly learned drills and music for the upcoming football game.

Harper Clark, Student Life Editor

To most, the first home football game might seem like a normal sports match, but for the marching band students who had prepped for weeks on three songs and drills they will never perform again, it is so much more. Marching band is back.

Although the Spartan Marching Band was still present during the 2020 football season, last year consisted of stationary halftime shows, spread-out end zones for the 4th quarter pep band, no uniforms and bell covers made out of wig caps. Now, everything the musicians enjoyed about marching band years prior has returned.

Starting with the 2021 marching band camp, everyone was able to rehearse together in the theater, get fit for their uniform and attend the yearly Six Flags trip that was greatly missed by many. 

Even with the comeback of these traditions, the PV marching band still took COVID precautions in order to reduce the risk of transmission. For example, all instruments required bell covers to reduce the number of aerosols put into the air when playing, puppy pads were available to use when musicians needed to empty their spit valves and each student was seated one seat apart in the theater. 

The juniors and seniors, although it had been two years, were accustomed to learning a new show, including different music and marching drills, for every game. Due to the lack of movement last year, this was new to both the current freshmen and sophomores who were faced with the challenge of becoming proficient in marching before the first home game. 

A basic introduction to marching skills was given last year to the current sophomores, but for students like sophomore Zach Guest who studied online during the pandemic, marching was practically uncharted territory.

“I felt like I was at a little bit of a disadvantage especially because other kids in my grade got some practice while I was online,” Guest explained. “I was a little worried at the beginning, but with all the practice we got, I felt more confident in myself!” 

Just like the rest of the marching band, through band camp and daily practice outside on the field, everyone was able to learn and improve their skills. For the past few weeks, the marching band had been working on their “Hits of Today” show, and the first home football game against Dubuque Hempstead on Sept. 3 brought it to life.

To senior drum major Catherine Moore, the atmosphere at the game felt new and alive. “I think having everyone together again brought the energy up in the stadium, and it made me so happy to see everyone sit on one side of the field again,” she said. 

As a drum major and being up on the podiums conducting the band every day, Moore is one of few students who gets to see the development from receiving new music and drills to them being performed under the Friday night lights.

“Sometimes I will look out at the field and see all of us marching together and it amazes me how our 290 plus people learned to do all of this in such a short amount of time,” Moore reflected.

The band department and its Spartan Band leaders emphasize an extremely important message  and that is one of “Band Family.” The Band Family is where anyone can go to feel like they belong and together, they can create great music

as a whole. The lack of movement last year made many students feel disconnected, but with the marching band going back to marching, the musicians are more united and can create music together once again.