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BANDED TOGETHER Marching band members create strong community to bring pep to football game prep

by Morgan Womack

It’s 5:30 p.m. on game day. The band room flutters with a steady flow of members marching in and out. The drumline warms up. Color guard members unwrap their silks. The wind section is shining its shoes. Parent volunteers are organizing the plumes. Drum majors Nathan Laws and Sam Hager scramble to answer any questions that come their way.

Band director Iain Novoselich describes it as organized chaos.

BEFORE THE GAME

Before marching onto the field, a group of students performs "gigs" for tailgaters.

Band members shine their shoes before the pre-game warm-up.

ON THE SIDELINES

The color guard files in front of the field before the game. or color guard captain Libby Haan, taking the field on game days is exhilarating.

“There is a bit of, like, an adrenaline rush beforehand,” Haan said. “I wouldn’t call it stage fright because I’m not nervous, per se, but I guess the best way to describe it is like Christmas morning when there’s presents under the tree and you’re excited to open them, like that euphoric rush, that’s the best I can describe it as, because I’m passionate about it and I love it."

“Everything is controlled chaos around here because it has to be,” Novoselich said. “Everybody has a job to do on the field, you have to play your instrument. Everybody has to know their part, everybody has to know where they go on the field."
All marching band members have the responsibility of knowing where and when to be in order to keep the music running smoothly. Although it seems difficult to organize 112 members, the staff trains each member to be self-sufficient.

During the third quarter, color guard member Breanna Wierda practices tossing her rifle in the air.

HALFTIME

Drum majors Nate Laws and Sam Hager are in charge of conducting throughout the game. On the stand, Laws usually feels nervous.

“Oh I’m horrified,” Laws said. “Horrified 100 percent, because I know my limitations and what I know how to do, I think about my limitations a little too much and then I end up messing up just a little bit and that may or may not throw off the whole band, but that’s why there’s two drum majors.”

Laws is also alongside Hager who shares the responsibility of conducting.

“It’s fun, actually, you feel the power - it doesn’t seem like the conductor usually would - but you feel like when you change how you conduct, it changes how the band plays, that’s really cool to feel that,” Hager said. “Even during performances I don’t see the crowd behind me and it just feels like I get in that zone and it just feels like practice.”

Color guard member Sydney Prins counts beats during the halftime performance at the Bucs Pride football game.

AFTER THE GAME

The band marches back to the band room after the fourth quarter. Most members feel the marching band is a strong community.

“Everyone should know the connectivity that we have with each other. We’re, as corny as it is to say, we are a huge family,” Laws said. “Yeah, we have our own little sections of different instruments that some get along with very well, but we all get along with each other very well.”