They bring the noise in the pregame to get the crowd hyped.
They entertain at halftime under the Friday Night Lights with inspiring music and precision movement on their green grass canvas.
Like the football teams that share their field, they are a hard-working team that practices late into the night so they can show their skills in front of the home crowd.
They are the marching bands at our Battle Creek-area schools and it’s time their story should be heard – and not just between the downbeats of the drumline.
The Enquirer has set out to look at what makes the area marching bands special, as a unit in the high school experience, and specifically as they wear their individual school colors.
We will look at the “Pride Of The State’ – the moniker carried by the Battle Creek Central marching band for decades, and we will also look at what you might call the ‘hardest working band in the land’ in the small, but proud, 21-member band at St. Philip – and a few bands that fall in between.
Which brings us to the big question. What school has the ‘Best Band In The Land’? Not the biggest, maybe not the most polished, but the band that is the ‘best’ in representing their school and has the most support in their community.
The Enquirer will break down the area marching bands, give you their bios and ‘scouting reports’ and even give you some tape on each online and then ask you to vote for the ‘Best Band In the Land’.
Today’s matchup is MARSHALL VS. HARPER CREEK
Or, scroll down to the bottom of the story for our online poll
Band Director: Jared Cavis
Captain and/or Drum Major(s): Cacey Hirleman, Taylor Root, MaCaila Hite, Alexis McPeck
Numbers of members in the band: 84
Songs you are playing in current halftime show: Phantom of the Opera, I Dreamed a Dream, Summer Nights, Sunrise Sunset, Bottle Dance #1
Describe your band: “The Harper Creek marching band prides itself on putting on a performance that our fans will enjoy and be proud of. Our attitude is that we will work hard to improve each day to be the best we can. While doing that we make it a point to enjoy what we do. Members of the Harper Creek marching band enjoy performing music daily and most importantly, enjoy the camaraderie that occurs between the band members on a daily basis,” Cavis said.
Why marching bands/pep bands are important to high school sports?: “All groups that exist in schools are what gives each school its identity. Whether it’s the arts, athletics, robotics, student government, or honor societies, each have characteristics that make Harper Creek who Harper Creek is. On Friday nights at Harper Creek Stadium we have five groups that contribute the environment and identity of Harper Creek – the football team, cheerleaders, pom team, marching band and fans. We all have something that we bring to the stadium that makes Harper Creek one of the best environments to be in on a Friday night. The evidence of this is at the end of the every game, win or lose, when the football team, students, and marching band perform the fight song on the field as a tribute to the school and community of Harper Creek,” Cavis said.
Band Director: Jeremy Root, Amanda Burdette
Captain and/or Drum Major(s): Veronica Klingel, Natalie Stiner
Numbers of members in the band: 130
Songs you are playing in current halftime show: “One More Time” – Ah-Ha, Daft Punk Medley, Cheerleader, Viva La Vida
Describe your band: “The Marshall High School marching band is a group that prioritizes school spirit, camaraderie, pride in our group, and having fun together. We do not perform at festivals or competitions – however, having a musical ensemble that plays and marches to the highest level possible is a priority for us. We have been able to achieve a balance of maintaining very high standards while also understanding that you have to have fun along the way,” Root said.
Why marching bands/pep bands are important to high school sports?: “I feel strongly that marching and pep bands provide an important part of the atmosphere of high school sports – particularly football and basketball. The pageantry of the bands on the field, playing the school songs, and watching the bands and cheerleaders lead the students sections in cheering on the teams is a great part of the overall scene. Marching bands provide a tremendous impetus in promoting school spirit,” Root said.
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