Central Mountain Marching Band
By CARLEY MARCUM
The Central Mountains Marching Band consists of dedicated students who want to share their talent with others. They participate in Central Mountain High School sporting events, pep rallies, and parades.
The marching band kicked off their field marching season on the 23 of August at the first Central Mountain High School football game against Williamsport. During these games, they play their show tunes often back-and-forth between the rival marching band, send the boys off with both the national anthem and wildcat victory, and perform their show at halftime.
This year the marching band is small in numbers but big in their performance; they have quite the sound this season. This year, 3 seniors will be leaving the band; among those seniors are Jadyn Watkins, Casey Glotz and Andrew Haigh.
I was able to interview Andrew who has been participating in Marching Band since 7 grade. He is involved in most music activities such as choir and jazz band alongside the marching band. He enjoys his time in the marching band, and his favorite time has been watching the seniors graduate each year. At the end of the season, they hold a banquet for themselves and the students participate in making each other ‘silly’ and ‘fun’ paper plate awards as a goodbye to the season. This is a memory he will hold in his High School Marching career.
With all his experience of 5 years in the marching band, I asked what one piece of advice he wanted to give to new members; his response was kind-hearted, “You want to stay positive. Not everyone will be a master at his or her instrument especially being in high school.” This year they have had quite a few new members join on an instrument they have never played before, he advises, “You stick with it.”
This is his last year after of participation and he’s taking with him what marching band gave him most; friends. “I make a lot of friends in the marching band. I like to think of them as my friends.” He’s watched 5 years of people come and go, “We get along well. I’m probably going to miss them the most.”
Writing this article I wanted to inform you what the Marching band requires mentally and physically. Andrew speaks about one thing he wishes everybody knew about being in a marching band, “It’s hard work definitely, it requires a lot of practice, and quite a bit of discipline, dedication, and memorization.”
I spoke to Mrs. Ashley Crust, the Marching Band director, about recruiting new members, what it’s like to be in marching band, and what to expect. This year their show theme is superheroes, including The Incredibles and Batman. These ideas don’t just come from the directors but from kids in the band also. The assistant director Heather Haigh bounced ideas off her sons who are in the band so they also had an interest. Keeping music appealing to the students to her in the school is key.
Crust likes to make it as fair as much as she can for the students involved and incorporate what they would like to do to make it fun for them. “For the students to have a voice is important.” Keeping the music alive in schools has been hard over the past years and this year they are fighting the pullback of students from the department by appealing to the middle school kids by letting the high school groups perform to show what music will evolve into once they reach high school level.
Crust personally has been teaching band since 2000, and has been in Keystone Central School district since 2006. Crust shares what to expect when joining the Central Mountain Marching Band, “Expect to be expected to be precise. We need students to pay attention to small things and big things.”
After working hard and being successful, the fun comes from being successful. She describes the band as a ‘family’ as they spend a lot of time together, having lots of fun along the way. “You put a lot of work into it and everybody needs to be invested that makes a big difference.”
For anyone interested in joining the Central Mountain Marching Band but are worried that you are not mastered at an instrument do not fret, they offer lessons to those starting out on instruments. To join you may approach anybody you know in the band and say you want to join; the band is always looking for new members. You can also contact any of the teachers in the M wing of Central Mountain High School. They allow grades 7-12, and would be very pleased to hear if you’re interested! The best time to join would be April/May when their practices begin, they work through the summer at band camp, and they hope to see new faces every year!