Marching band performed at the district festival

Rory Dungan and Zach Dulny

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“Up next is the Shawnee Mission Cougar Marching Pride!”

The band walks out in their formation, to the sound of a stacatto drum beat. They get into their positions as the dance team intertwines within the formation. Senior Claire Severance sings a verse from “Simple Gifts” followed by a call and response section with the audience. She finishes, the crowd cheers, and the drum majors raise their arms to call the band to attention. With a sweep of their hands, the silent stadi

um fills with the sounds of “The Scenes of Spring.”

At the festival, the NW marching band performed all three variations of the music they have learned.

“There are three different sets ,” freshman Sarah Roberts said. “We focus on the first set one day, the second set another day, and sometimes all of it together. At games, sometimes we only do one and two, or all three. At shows, we do all of them.”

The festival focuses on the five SM schools getting critiques and suggestions for improvement from clinicians rather than competing to win first prize.

“Every school in the district comes together and we just show our marching band show in front of everyone,” Severance said. “It’s not really much of a competition. We work so hard on ours, we want to show everybody else. We want to see what everyone else is doing.”

Severance, the mellophone section leader, is in charge of the eight other mellophone players.

“ have to get in contact with the freshmen, make sure they have a group chat and make sure they’re at the sectionals and learning their music,” Severance said. “We have to warm up the section every morning . After every game, we make sure all of the uniforms are hung up correctly. We make sure all the parts are distributed evenly throughout the section. If we have any problems, we also deal with that, and we’re basically just another voice for the directors and the drum majors.”

In preparation for the band festival, and competitions later on in the season, members of the marching band come to school early every morning.

“I get up at 5:50 , and I have to leave my house by 6:25,” sophomore Georgie Teschendorf said. “Drumline has to be here at 6:45 to get our drums on. We start marching at 7.” 

Along with before-school practices, band members have a first hour marching band class. They also stay after school every Monday afternoon to perfect their music.

“On Monday nights, we have an hour and a half rehearsal to clean stuff and work on music,” Severance said.

“, we get our drums on, go out to the field, go over marching drill and warm up by playing some cadences,” Roberts said. “We play the music and march it, and usually we try to fix the drill.”

The early morning and afternoon practices end along with the football season in November. Although marching season is only during the first semester, members have many expectations of how they perform, and have to constantly work hard to reach goals. If marching band members are unable to memorize their music during the allotted practice time, they are expected to work on their own at home.

“We have pass-off dates, when we’re supposed to have the music fully memorized,” Severance said. “You’ll pass it off to section leaders, so I pass all of the mellos. I’ll have to pass off with one of the drum majors.”

The Marching Cougar Pride will perform at the Neewollah Festival in Independence, Kans.,Saturday. The festival begins after the morning parade at 1:30 p.m.