Band from Three Perspectives

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Band from Three Perspectives

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A Senior’s Inside Perspective: Peyton Stoike

When I was in fifth grade, I joined band and decided to play the flute. Throughout my experience in band, I have done everything from the simple things, such as Christmas concerts and to auditioning and being apart of a college honor band.

Marching band is one of the bigger challenges of being in band, due to the early morning practices and the late night football games, with extensive weather changes. Marching band members march, no matter the weather. I have marched through rain, shine, snow, wind, and even extreme heat, sort of like a postman.

Despite the weather and the excruciating practices, the trips, the competitions, and all of the memories made are worth while. I am thankful to be surrounded by the most amazing people during the trips we take, making great memories with each and everyone of them. I am grateful that the cycle rotation for the D.C./New York trip fell on a year that I was still going to be in high school. Going the summer before I became a senior helped me to realize that our band is good, but there is always room for improvement.

This year’s marching show is the hardest show that I have marched during my career. We have upped our level at which we perform and I hope that after I leave the program, the band will continue to excel and push themselves.

It will be bittersweet to go through the “lasts” of my high school band career. I will perform in my last state marching band competition, march my last parade, perform in my last Christmas concert, perform my last solo during district music, and perform in my last spring concert. When spring rolls around, band is not the only activity that I will be saying goodbye to, but it is one of the most important.

With the arrival of Mr. Heide, great advancements have occurred for our program, as well as our confidence. An increase has been seen in the number of students who have taken more interest in band. I, for one, am one of those students. Freshman year, I would never have guessed that I would be doing the everyday things that I do in band. I’ve involved myself in multiple honor bands, and I have taken on a leadership position, not only in the band as a whole, but in my particular section. I have expanded my wings in band and it taught me so many life lessons, such as teaching me to put my full trust in others. When I am marching on that field, I have to rely in the people in other sections to play their part, to march their pattern, and to execute their parts, so I can mine.

Because band has helped me in so many ways, it is going to be a hard day when I walk out of the band room for the last time, leaving behind my friends, my band family, and a wonderful teacher. The band will continue to be successful this year, and will continue on as long as they work hard and believe. One band, one sound!

A Sophomore’s Inside Perspective: Aubrie Lawrence

The best way I can describe being in band is to have someone imagine being engulfed in a big hug that never seems to let go. Yes, there can be times when you want to escape that hug, but you always seem to find comfort in it, when comfort is needed the most. That is what band is. It still amazes me how much other kids in the band care about everything that is happening in the band, even if it has nothing to do with their section. That is an example of just how close we all are. No matter what happens we always support each other.

When I first came into the high school band, I thought that the class would be a hierarchy of power, but in fact it is a kind of a share of wealth. If you have something on your mind, everyone is willing to listen. That is the great thing about the leadership program; it allows all students to share their ideas whether they have seniority or not.  

I always wanted to go to Washington on the band trip. It was something I looked forward to since I was a little kid. I had heard all these stories of the great times every student had after they had gone. When I finally had the chance to go last summer, I was ecstatic. My dream had come true and in the process, I grew closer to the people who went with me on the trip. We had an amazing experience that not many people from small town bands have the chance to do. We all realized how much hard work was put into it, but the payoff was worth it. I hope that every band kid in the future is able to have that same experience and that sense of closeness with the group.

The band is a great family to be a part of. It was something I had always wanted to be in and be apart of everything it had to offer. I am so proud of the things we are able to do together and look forward to the next two years to come. I am so lucky to be a part of this great team and have an input on the things we do. I know that in time we will grow stronger and continue to succeed in everything we put our minds to. As Mr. Heide continues to say “If it is too bad for them, then it is just right for us.”

The band this year has an amazing show planned and I am very proud to be apart of it. With the “Choices: Good vs Evil” theme it really helps me realize what good choices I have made, as well as the bad ones. With State just around the corner, I feel that the band is very prepared and will do the best that we can. I know that every hour, cold day, and frozen toes will add up to a one at state.

A Junior’s Outside Perspective: Safyre Yearling

Every year, the Alliance community patiently awaits the debut of the Alliance High School band’s marching performance. This year the theme was “Choices: Good versus Evil”. The band’s first performance took place during halftime at the home football, versus Lexington, on September 23rd, 2016.

Odds are, if you ran into any members of the band, they will tell you how different the planned performance would be. The songs included in the show were the “Dark Knight” theme, “Monster” by Skillet, and the iconic “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.

Band director, Jerrold Heide, has been in charge of the band for three years, now. Since his arrival, he has taken the time to bond with each and every student that has come through the doors of, not only the band room, but also the high school and has earned their trust by showing how he genuinely cares for them.

Before marching onto the field, Heide let me come into the band room and watch the band’s final practice, before the premiere of the full show. As soon as I entered the doors, I could feel the excited energy radiating from the members. Though they were nervous, excitement clearly showed on every face in the room.

After a few run throughs, the band lined up in two rows in the hallway behind the PAC stage, before they began their march down to the field. Senior band majorette, Erica Escamilla, paced back and forth between the lines, giving the band that final boost of confidence with a short speech, filled with genuine love for every single person in that hallway. From there, it was show time.

The band played several shorts before kick off, spending the first two quarters warming up, grabbing a quick cup of hot cocoa, and keeping morale high, before the big debut. Surveying the band from the surrounding bleachers, you could see their once nervous faces begin to change into vibrant smiles, filled with confidence. This was their moment and everyone could see it.

The band marched onto the field and began playing their first song, which was “Dark Knight”, followed by “Monster”. The seemingly simple choreography and field arrangements made for some applause, but nothing compared to what happened next.

The band formed an “M” and a “J” on the field and the tune of “Thriller” by Michael Jackson erupted from the instruments. Several components played into making the final song a good one, such as a solo high-pitched scream from sophomore, Maddie Korte, to match the scary tone, to intense booming from the drumline. “Thriller” sparked compliments all across the fan-packed bleachers. The band, then placed their instruments down on the field and stepped back, before busting out into a somewhat simplified version of Michael Jackson’s original 1984 “Thriller” choreography. The dance was perfectly in sync in a nearly flawless routine. The band picked up their instruments and finished the song; then various sounds of praise roared from all around Bulldog Stadium. I’d say that was one grand finale.

The “Thriller” performance was a favorite of the community, so what was the inspiration? Mr Heide took the time to tell the story. “Bailey O’Connor, a 2015 grad of AHS, harassed me all through the 2015 “Taking Flight” show that we needed to add dancing so she could jam out with us on the sideline.  There really was no place for it in the show, but I assured her that sometime in the future we would include it.  Once the theme was set and music picked, it was clear that we would put in the Thriller dance to increase the fun factor and boost our general effect scores by having more visual content.  My wife, Erin Heide, choreographed the dance from the actual Michael Jackson video, so what you see is what they did back in 1984, simplified somewhat, of course.  Here’s one for you in 2016, BO’C!”

Following the performance, the band gathered on the sidelines, where Mr. Heide and the majorettes praised the players for their amazing performance. You could clearly see the connection that each and every one of the members of the band had with each other. It was almost like one giant family gathering. They returned to the stands, all chanting, “One band, one sound.” However, from an outsider’s perspective, it seemed more like “one family, one sound.”

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