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The Hornet's Buzz

The multimedia news site of The Hornet's Buzz

The Hornet's Buzz

The multimedia news site of The Hornet's Buzz

The Hornet's Buzz

Marching band prepares for competition

Marching band prepares for competition

The students in the Hornet Band are no strangers to hard work.

This summer, instead of lounging on the couch or visiting the pool, they could be found practicing and sweating out on the football field in triple digit temperatures.

Band Camp, which 95 of the current 107 band students attended from July 26 to Aug. 5, consisted of nine days of practicing music and learning to march, both inside and on the field. Freshmen and other new members attended an additional Rookie Camp, and the band’s drumline attended an extra three days.

The band’s season began early, making Band Camp even more necessary. The extra two weeks of practice at camp – teaching students marching fundamentals, show music, and the ‘charts’ that outline the shapes the band will make on the field – were vital in order to be prepared for the early football games.

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“We’re going 90 miles an hour right from the start,” director Carrie Epperson said. “That’s proving to be difficult, but the students are pushing forward just like I need them to.”

For freshman cymbals player Jennifer Elpert, this was her first Northtown band camp experience.

“Band camp, although at extremely hot temperatures, was a lot of fun and you met a lot of kids. You learned a lot and it really eases your nerves.”

She’d expected it to be much harder, and the other students to be a lot less friendly.

“It was very difficult, but they broke it down,” said Elpert.

The negatives?

Sophomore trumpet player Caleb McQuerry summed it up in two words: “The heat.”

Following a successful marching season, the band is determined to do even better this year. Preparation for their show began at band camp and continued during classes and practices before school. The show consists of music selections from the Broadway musical Wicked, about the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West.

The 2011-12 season holds special meaning for the band and its two directors, Epperson and Assistant Director Ashley Williams.

Epperson and Williams have taught band at Northtown for four years, which means this year’s seniors started as their first class of freshman.

So far, the band has performed at three football games during halftime. On the band’s progress, junior snare drum player Hunter Smith said,

“We had a rough start with people not committing, but it’s like a marathon – all done slowly but worth it in the end.” As for how far is left to go, Smith said, “About twenty four miles.”

Will their preparation be enough? On Sept. 24, the band will compete at the Carrollton Band Day. Last year, they earned first place in their division and third place overall.

This year, senior Drum Major Corrie Gibson hopes the band will do well again.

“Our band has always been a performance band – we kick it into high gear [at competition],” Gibson said. “As long as we stay focused, we’ll take home first place like last year.”

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