Marching Band Prepares for Competition

Galilea Sejas, Arts Editor

Three hour long rehearsals, lack of hydration and the euphonious sound of musicians marching around in the football field: all of which is an average rehearsal in the eyes of marching band students. The Annandale Atoms Marching Band and Color Guard are all preparing for their first competition on Saturday 23rd at Herndon High School for the US Bands Circuit in the Northern Virginia Region.

Everyday, with the exception of Mondays and Fridays, these dedicated students have been practicing their routine and songs that they need to memorize playing and marching. This year’s song that they are focusing on is “Kiss By a Rose” by Seal. Senior and assistant drum major, Valeria Arnao, has been fortunate enough to be able to conduct the band throughout their entire performance.“If the band turns around in the show, I am able to guide them and make sure that everyone stays in time,” Arnao said.

She, along with two other drum majors, are able to conduct the band every performance that they had so far. According to Witkowski, he said, “we separate the show into four parts or four movements, then towards the end of the week, we put all of the chunks together.” Each week, the marching band students focus on one specific movement, so that they can master small sections of the show then put it all together in the last week, before the rehearsal. The rehearsals are normally conducted on the football stadium fields.

On average, they rehearse from 3:30-6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As well as from 3:45-6:45 on Wednesday, in order to make sure that each band member is prepared and fully memorized their music and basic dot book (each choreographed step that they need to follow in order to remain in formation). Fortunately enough, the long rehearsals every day have been able to create new friendships and strengthen the marching band team, especially in the Away Camp, where the marching band students can practice the basics of marching and make the marching band and color guard family even more close knit.

For some people, it’s their first show performing, but with all of the marching band student’s hard work and dedication outside of school, it should be enough to show their Annandale Pride in the competition.
The play will be performed sometime in November. We are excited to see what all this hard work was for. We wish them all good luck.