Photo by Tori Listoe
When it comes to the pressure of high school, several kids feel the stress of extracurricular activities on top of their schoolwork, including those involved in marching band.
“With all of the pressure put on us from band and school, I find it hard to maintain a steady sleep schedule,” Jessica Heintz, freshman clarinet player, said. “I’ve even had to stay awake for 72 hours with only 6 hours of sleep because of the massive workload.”
Weighing into the time commitment aspect of students’ involvement in band, the question of whether or not these players have the ability to participate in other extracurriculars on the side comes into play. Although there seems to be little time for commitments outside of band, the majority of students interviewed are able to be involved in other activities.
“Outside of band and school, I compete on the swim team,” Jorden Gershon, freshman saxophone player, said. “There’s not actually that much time for anything else, but I’m able to manage.”
Gathering insight from the above sources, the hours that students put into band rehearsals count for a lot of dedication throughout the band, and the conditions that members practice in just adds to this amount.
“The worst was when it was pouring down rain so they made us stand under the bleachers and all of the nasty stuff from the bleachers fell on us,” Kasey Gusella, freshman trumpet player, said. “It’s kind of a struggle, but I get that they want us to practice as much as possible.”
The interviewed students have all stated that they’ve had good experiences in their time in band, but there have been hard parts, too. These can include things as simple as not getting near enough sleep to not being placed in contests for pieces that have taken a lot of hard work.
“I love many parts of band, but I don’t like that we are so dependent on each other in the sense that one people’s lack of care holds the entire band back,” Heintz said. “Honestly though, that’s just how band works, and though it’s definitely not the teacher’s fault, it’s still not something that I particularly enjoy about the process.”
Though being a part of marching band has its ups and downs, every student interviewed had something that they would consider positive to tell about their experiences.
“There are a lot of hard parts about band, but as a whole it’s actually pretty great,” Gershon said. “My favorite part of it all would have to be the friends I’ve made and to be a part of something so big.”
Written by Kathryn Haberman