Six months for six minutes

Band students practice passion for their craft


The woodwinds tune in their warm-up arc.

Charlotte Reynolds, Feature Editor

Marching band is a performing art practiced at high schools and colleges alike. This activity is the most beneficial form of music education. The marching band season lasts 6 months. Performers start their season in June and end in early November, causing them to go from rehearsing in extremely hot conditions to cold weather; all for a 6-10 minute show. Countless hours are spent practicing the same sets over and over again. This, however, is the side the student body doesn’t see. The students see the show performed at halftime and don’t know the amount of effort put in by the members. Many students even go as far as to say things such as “It’s a waste of time, It doesn’t look that hard, It’s just walking around and playing a few notes, It’s not as important as athletics, It’s stupid.” These are all comments I’ve heard. These statements are far from the truth.  The student body should take pride in their Marching Band and all they have accomplished together.

Drum Major, Colton Sell (20) conducts the band at their Saturday morning rehearsal.

What is Marching Band? When it is mentioned, you typically think of parades, brass instruments, uniforms, and loud percussion. In reality it is so much more than that. For many bands, including Eaton’s, the main focus is competitions. The base of  all this competition is very obviously music. Before any marching (drill) can happen, the musicality must be solid. With a band as small as Eaton High School’s, there is no room for weak players or slackers. Each member contributes a vital part to the band’s sound. All music must be memorized to perfection and portrayed with emotion. Marching band trains students to work hard for a final product that pays off. The show at the end is only what the players make it. Band also builds amazing bonds with role models like teachers and section leaders. Section leaders connect with the students in their section and act as mentors in character and their music career.

Bass guitarist, Shawn Doyle (20) practices for this year’s show “Home”.

The amount of time that goes into this activity is extreme. Students participating must be extremely dedicated and devoted to their team. Rehearsal begins in early June. This lasts one week. In mid-July a “hardcore camp” takes place. Students march and play in the hot sun from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. for two consecutive weeks. It is crucial that players don’t “skip out” or ditch rehearsal. If you miss one day, you’ve missed 100+ reps the rest of the band hasn’t. Once school begins, morning practice is held at 7 a.m. before school. At least every other week students must also attend a three-hour rehearsal from 5-8 p.m. On top of weekly duties, the band arrives bright and early every Saturday morning from 8-11 a.m. The time commitment is a reality the student body of EHS doesn’t consider when thinking of marching band.

The 2018 Eaton High School Marching Band season was one of the best in history. Eaton’s band made the finalist level at every single one of its preliminary competitions. Students took first at regionals and were the very first-ever band in the school’s history to go to State Finals. In that competition, the students took fourth in state. Having such a successful season was an amazing accomplishment for the band and Eaton. The students and community of Eaton need to see marching band in a fresh light, so they can respect and admire it.