Marching Band underappreciated

Senior Marina Chen finishes her choreography as a color guard member

Galilea Sejas, Arts Editor

The sound of a buzzer goes off as another 7 points are added to the scoreboard, “The Atoms with another touchdown” from another infamous player on the team. Immediately, the Marching Atoms are playing the well-known fight song  to increase the level of hype on the field and in the bleachers. For every single game, the Marching Atoms are known to be the ones performing and filling the stadium with euphonious sounds that increase the level of hype in the stands and in our hearts. Each marching band member has a specific role that works together to make one voice, one sound, one being.

This marching being is well known in our school, but doesn’t necessarily get the credit that it deserves. Marching Band practices may occur from Tuesdays to Thursdays, from roughly 3:30 until 6, maybe even later for those marching band students who want to make sure that they get their part fully memorized and flowing smoothly. These practices are about the same length as all other sports, but somehow marching band is not held to the same candle as the other sports such as football

Marching Band director Mr.Witzkowski said, “We practice about 9 hours a week and we work on our halftime and pregame show mostly.” Band members spend a great deal of time mastering their music and choreography. To most people, it may seem like marching band only practices a couple times a week, yet it takes a lot of practice to pull off the spectacular shows at the football games.

Many students may be found at the band concessions, buying food or talking amongst their peers instead of listening and watching the well-thought out choreography performed from the Marching Band. This year, they decided to do the song, “A Kiss by a Rose” by Seal, which proved to be a popular throw-back song to some that were singing in the stands as they saw the students marching.

“I think that people believe that it’s less strenuous than other activities and much the competitions are much less popular,” senior Everett Butler said.

The marching band comes and performs their song for the whole audience and hear and sing along to. The drum majors are conducting the band and ensuring that each person follows their music and marches in the correct place.

They mainly practice in the stadium or in the football field parking lot. The stadium area is reserved for different activities such as football and field hockey practices, so the band director has a schedule for when they are able to practice on the big field. On average, they begin their practices with drills or warm ups, such as running 2 laps around the football field. Each marching student needs to have enough endurance to be able to play their instrument and march around the field in a timely manner while staying on track with the music.

Their practices run in similarly to other sports’ practices. There’s a warm up, drills and practicing of their music.

Practicing an instrument takes a lot of effort because of the fact that the majority of their performance are all from memory. They must memorize their music and their choreography. If one person is off of their “dot” or place, then it may mess up the whole performance.

Marching Band and Color Guard are co-curricular activities that are taken for granted a majority of the time. Without their efforts, fans would have no music playing while they are cheering for the football team. Marching Band, along with the nicely choreographed Color Guard, performances play an important role in the high school football game experience.

They are the ones who are on the stands playing wholeheartedly along with the football players on the field. Both Marching Band and Color Guard should be held at an equal level as football, or at least should be appreciated equally. Students are not truly appreciative of their efforts during their performances since they may not realize how much work is put into this activity.  

“If you’ve never experienced something, you can never appreciate how hard it may actually be,” senior drum major Tristan Dock said.
Any activity that requires physical activity and the ability to perform in front of a large crowd should always be commended and never judged. Marching Band is anything but easy. They dedicate hours upon hours in order to perform their infamous songs and melodies that inspire the crowds to continue cheering on and the football players continue to fight on.

Support The Marching Atoms

Low Brass section: Nick Russell, Noah Byrne, Henry Choi, Diana Villaroel, Cody Bugby and Zach Russell are playing the Annandale High School Fight Song during the homecoming game.
The Pit players: Melissa Fuentes, Eva Gomez, Jackson Fornariz and Steve Pham perform at Homecoming.
Senior Marina Chen finishes her choreography as a color guard member