Middle school band receives unique experience


Kathleen Isenegger, A&E Editor

On Friday Oct. 10, eighth grade band students from both Highlander Way and Parker Middle School received an opportunity to play alongside the members of the Howell High School Marching Band at last week’s home football game.

Senior marching band member Kris Klug recalls his experience of eighth grade night when he participated as a middle schooler.

“It was a lot of fun, mostly because of the people,” Klug says.

The purpose of this event is to recruit eighth grade students for the marching band. The belief is that students will be more likely to join once they enter high school if they get to experience it beforehand. They are also able to get an understanding of how high school band works.

“We show them that being in band isn’t a nerdy thing, it’s actually cool,” Klug says.

Although there were many positive things, there are some difficulties encountered while working with eighth grade students. The middle schoolers often tend to not watch the conductor, as well as consistently play the music at the same volume. On the bright side, this can be beneficial to the high schoolers.

“It teaches us to watch more, in order to compensate for the eighth graders,” Klug says.

The middle school musicians joined the marching band to play ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams, ‘All star’ by Smash mouth, the school’s fight song, ‘Howell High Forever’, as well as an assortment of stand tunes including ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes.

The eighth graders benefited greatly from this experience in a variety of ways. They are able to grow as musicians because they are pushing themselves to play more difficult, high school level music. Middle schoolers must also meet the challenge of coping with the hundreds of distractions that occur during a football game performance.

“We definitely learned how to multitask,” eighth grader Austin Woodard says.

Woodard is a trumpet player from Parker Middle School who participated in Friday’s event. He plans on joining marching band next year.

“It looks very fun, like a nice experience,” Woodard says.

Before the football game the eighth graders joined the high schoolers for an hour of marching practice, followed by a tailgate dinner. Earlier in the week, on Monday Oct. 6, a practice was held with both groups to work on music, marching fundamentals, and learn the pregame show. The eighth graders were able to observe and socialize with the high school marching band members during this time.

“They were very nice and seemed serious about what they do,” Woodard says.

In short, eighth grade night could be considered a success for both the middle school and high school musicians.