Marching to a New Beat

The+marching+band+entertains+the+crowd+during+the+halftime+show+at+the+Blue+Valley+North+football+game+against+Blue+Valley+South+West.+Photo+by+Austin+Fultz.

The marching band entertains the crowd during the halftime show at the Blue Valley North football game against Blue Valley South West. Photo by Austin Fultz.

“The shows this year are different than anything we’ve done before,”  said band director Dr. Marion Roberts.

Before every home football game, the marching band performs a show for the audience. They then play the National Anthem and the fight song. When the first half is over, the band comes out again to do another show.

There are different bands that do the two different shows. The combined band is made up of all of the grades, while the upperclassman band is just sophomore through seniors.

“We try to find music for the combined band show that the students and crowd will like, and that is not terribly hard to play for the freshmen but is still somewhat challenging,”  Dr. Roberts said.  “The upperclassman show is for more of a contest setting so it is harder,” he said.

The upperclassman show has more visuals than before and also focuses more on marching. The show is called “This Just In” and depicts historical news stories throughout different decades. The production is told through the music as well as the announcements that will be projected through a microphone.

The BVN drumline practices almost every morning during the fall season along with the rest of the band. Photo by Austin Fultz.
The BVN drumline practices almost every morning during the fall season along with the rest of the band. Photo by Austin Fultz.

While other schools in Blue Valley perform one show, North does two. The second show is performed as the combined band featuring the freshmen. The show is called “Latin Heat” and features Latin-inspired songs such as “El Cumbanchero” and “I Know You Want Me (Llorando Se Fue).”

This year the band is featuring its own dancers that perform with the dance team.

“By having some band members perform with the dance team, it adds flare to the beginning of the show,”  senior drum major Brandi Bates said. “It’s going to look really cool.”

The band members are working harder than in years past to put on a more visually appealing performance.

“The kids this year are working much harder than before and are a stronger group than the last couple of years,”  Dr. Roberts said.

As a senior, Kayla Shepherd reflects on how this year is different for the marching season. The band has focused a lot more on technique and making sure everyone is in step and in time.

“The upperclassman show has the potential to be really powerful and moving,” Shepherd said. “I hope we can get that message across successfully and do well.“

The difficulty of the shows presents many strengths and weaknesses in the band.

“Our best strength this year is being on task, and we are more talented than previous years. Our weakness is getting to morning rehearsal on time,” junior and trumpet section leader Wyatt Hursh said.

Students agree on many of the same strengths and weaknesses of the band.

“We are really strong music wise, and we have really amazing players. Our weaknesses are not being focused and locked in on the rehearsal,” Shepherd said.

The band hopes to get a 1, or superior, rating at the Kansas Marching Festival at the University of Kansas as well as the Kansas State Marching Festival at Kansas State University. Both festivals will be in October.

“I’m proud of the kids in the band, they really are a great group of people,” Dr. Roberts said.

– Lauren Wolfe

Social Media Manager