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 LAKEVIEW VS. BATTLE CREEK CENTRAL
Or, scroll down to the bottom of the story for our online poll
Band Director: Brian Massey and Greg Black
Captain and/or Drum Major(s): Austin Begley, Marissa Bandlow, Alison Li and Bryer Magnuson (Drum Majors); Color Guard Captains- Teaira Gray, Kennedy Hayes, Pravallika Chirumamilla
Numbers of members in the band: 150
Songs you are playing in current halftime show: Show is called: enLIGHTened. Selections include: Lux Aurumque- Whitacre, Fly to Paradise- Whitacre, Dies Irae- Verdi Requiem, Lacrimosa and Confutatis – Mozart Requiem
Describe your band: “When thinking about describing this band, one word comes to mind: Excellence. These students just work so incredibly hard. They are dedicated to always improving and striving to excel at the highest level. We are a competitive band and therefore there are a lot of time commitments that come with that. These students sacrifice so much time to be a part of this band. It is truly incredible to watch them rehearse/perform,” Massey said.
Why are marching bands are important to high school sports?: Unity. This school is a team. We have different avenues in which we can represent our school and band and football/basketball are one of the only ones that collaborate together. The band also brings energy to the game. It’s a lot of fun when you get an 150-member student section (along with the one that is already there) and have a lot of fun/make a lot of noise and make the stadium/court electric,” Massey said.
BATTLE CREEK CENTRAL
Band Director: Brian E. Bucec
Captain and/or Drum Major(s): Brendan Knapper, Emily Meyer, James Burns – Drum Majors
Number of members in the band: 128
Songs you are playing in current halftime show: Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Star Wars Theme; Rey’s Theme; March of the Resistance; Drum Wars: Sticks Awaken; The Jedi Steps & Main Theme
Describe your band: ‘The Bearcat Marching Band is a focused high school marching band that performs at football games, parades, competitions, exhibitions, festivals and in Chicago and at Disney World. They have a long reputation of excellence receiving excellent and superior ratings consistently. We work hard and strive for excellence always. After all, we are ‘The Pride of the State’,” Bucec said.
Why are marching bands important to high school sports?: “High school marching bands are a vital part of every school program. They not only provide support, but good performing skills, life lessons, team work, sense of belonging and most importantly great brain development,” Bucec said.
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