Marching Band Plays to its Own Beat


By Mateo Vega, Reporter

The band continues its successful run with this year’s show, “Wonderland,” as it heads into the end of its competition season.

Band director Christian Poole is very proud of the band, especially given the different circumstances they have had to face this year.

“This year we have a very unique challenge where we’re doing a show without a drum major, or someone to lead the show,” said Poole.

(From Left to right) Senior John Kroh and junior Gabe Hurley practice for the show. Photograph by Nathan Harris

This is because the band’s drum major, senior Lucas Schwanke, was selected for the All-National Band, and he will not be able to attend the Championships.

“We designed our entire season without someone directing our show,” said Poole. “so it’s been all based on listening and different students starting at different parts of the show. It’s been super challenging, but kind of fun at the same time.”

Senior Hayden McGarvey, who plays the snare drum, explains what the band means to him, even given the challenges it faces.

“We lost a lot of seniors last year, and people’s expectations were all over the place for this year, but I think that we came together as a group really well, and we’re working well together, and we’re all having a good time,” said McGarvey.

Senior Emma Burns, who plays the marching baritone, has love for the band as well.

“I think the band this year is really close-knit, we’re kinda like a family,” said Burns. “We all have each other’s backs, and we try our hardest to help new kids out and teach everybody the ways of the band.”

She has only praise to give Poole as a teacher and mentor for her four years of being part of the band.

Junior Gabe Hurley plays during the “Wonderland” show. Photograph by Nathan Harris

“[He] is the greatest person I’ve ever known! He helps everybody out so much. If you need help, he’s always down in the band room and willing to teach you things, or slow it down,” said Burns. “As long as you ask for what you need, he’s 100% ready to give it to you. He’s taught me so much about responsibility through band and how I can help others instead of just looking at myself.”

Ultimately, Poole seeks to explore more with the band in the coming years by adding new elements; he hopes more people will come to recognize everything the band does.

“The first places, or second places, that’s all just a whole other elements we can’t entirely control, but we just go out there, we perform well, we get feedback, we work hard, and we try to add different elements to the show, and that’s really what we [want to] try to focus on,” said Poole.

The band placed second in the American division at the Cavalcade of Bands Championship in Hershey with a score of 96.6 on Saturday.