By Naya Singh, communications intern
Many students within the band program are coined to never truly participate in sports, that what they do isn’t the same. However, students in the band program have accomplished a lot. The marching band puts a lot of time and effort into what they do, and the results they get is a huge reward for the amount that they put in. There is a lot more to marching band than just playing on a field every football game during halftime.
What many people don’t know about marching bands is that there are two different kinds—show bands and competition bands. A show band is the bands that have a close resemblance to the OU Marching Band and the OSU Marching Band. Typically these schools have a director that is an alumnus from a school with a show band type of structure. Show bands learn a different show just about every week and attend football games, parades, and sometimes competition show band festivals. On the other hand, there are competition bands that attend the parades and compete many weeks throughout the season. These bands usually learn only one show, but just about every week they perform, which ranges between 5-7 weeks a season, they are judged, critiqued, and awarded depending on their performance. Our school has a competition band, and what you see every halftime for a football game is what they march on a field and perform every Saturday at every competition.
Our directors, Ms. Beavers, Mr. Perry, and Mr. Matthews, have dedicated a lot to this program and has taken this school’s band to the next level. From the 1970s, our school has had a competition band and had their first debut at the OMEA State Marching Band Finals in 1980. Our directors have taken knowledge of the band’s history and their own band knowledge, they all grew up with competition band experiences and applied it to today’s Class A band here at Licking Heights. Band class is determined on school size and the amount of growth the school witnesses over a period of time. In the last 20 years, Licking Heights’s Marching Band has gone from a Class C (lowest) to a Class A (second highest), and according to Ms. Beavers, the band will be in Class AA (highest) within the next 3 years. Within the few years, these directors have been here, they have contributed a lot to the band’s growth and success.
Many students can recall hearing on through the daily announcements the numerous successes of the Licking Heights Marching Band. This season, the band was undefeated in Class A and earned their highest scores in recent (if not school) history. The band program is booming and growing and the way things are taught and learned is different every year.
Ms. Beavers states, “I’m a firm believer that there is no ‘best’ way to teach a marching band, it truly comes down to program history, community expectations, and director background.”
This philosophy can be seen in the day to day life of a band student. Ms. Beavers, Mr. Perry, and Mr. Matthews have applied this way of thinking to their teachings in class and in extracurriculars like Marching Band. It is not just because of them, though, that our band is as successful as it is. Every student brings a willingness to learn with open minds every day and this is what truly carries the program through all of their successes.
Marching Band is something that is not very common. And that’s not just here at Licking Heights—that’s everywhere, for every school. Many students and parents, unless one is in the music program, aren’t aware of how much time and dedication and work is put into marching bands. The truth is, there is a lot more to Marching Band than just performing at parades and football games.