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 PENNFIELD VS. ST. PHILIP
Or, scroll down to the bottom of the story for our online poll
Band Director: Blake Driver, Chuck Dixon
Captain and/or Drum Major(s): Destiny Hand, Alana Dyer
Numbers of members in the band: 88
Songs you are playing in current halftime show: Music from Grease: Summer Nights, Grease Lightnin’, Beauty School Dropout, You’re the One that I Want.
Describe your band: “We march in Big 10 style, “squad based” precision marching reminiscent of Big 10 marching bands of decades past,” Driver said.
Why marching bands/pep bands are important to high school sports?: “Marching bands and pep bands help to create an atmosphere of fun at these events. It gives students who aren’t in athletics a chance to perform for large audiences,” Driver said.
Band Director: Laura Hirleman
Drum Major: Sarah Guzzo
Number of Band Members: 21
Halftime Show:Believe – Land of Make Believe, Believe (From the Polar Express), Feel This Moment
Describe your band: “The St. Philip Marching Tigers are a dedicated, hardworking and fun group of students who love band and give it everything they have. Our band enjoys being silly and embracing our corny side throughout the football games and we always support our team by performing spirited music and band cheers on first downs and during timeouts and quarter breaks. Our pregame and halftime shows, however, are the main event,” Hirleman said.
Why are marching bands important to high school sports?: During a high school football game, the marching band instills school spirit and pride while firing up the crowd. In fact, many people attend the games because of the marching band. Football games would certainly not be as lively and fun without the marching band present. Marching bands create festive atmospheres and provide thrilling visual and auditory experiences for everyone and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing young children dancing to our music and football fans clapping to our beats. The combination of sports and music provides an outlet of entertainment for everyone,” Hirleman said.
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