Marching band prepares for upcoming competition season beginning Sept. 30

Rachel Cannon, Staff Writer

Many of us play an instrument, but can you imagine having to do so in front of a judge, and while doing a choreographed routine?
This is what the Blue Valley Marching Band will be doing four times this year during their competition season.
“I love music, so I have a passion for it, and I love the physicality and musicality that that marching band has together,” band member junior Ashleigh Tysick said.
A typical competition starts early in the morning when the band members meet with uniforms and instruments in tow, and load up on the bus. After the band arrives, members warm up. They have two warm ups — one that is musical and one that is visual. During warm-ups, band members have to be silent.
After the band plays in the preliminaries, they have to wait 2-3 hours to hear from the judges. Scores are given for visual effect, music, marching, foot timing, balance and general effect. Though individuals do not get scored, everyone works to do their best so the band does better as a whole.
If the band is selected to continue, the whole process begins again.
To be ready, the marching band practices for about ten and a half hours during the school week and 40 hours during band camp weeks. They have been preparing since the middle of July.
Learning the drills and music at a slower pace than previous years, the band plans to have their full show prepared by their Bands of America competition. This competition is the band’s largest one, and it takes place on Oct. 18 and 19 in St. Louis.
The show, called “Earth Song,” includes props like recycling bins and new visuals. In addition to this show, the marching band has a rock show that BV students and fans can hear at football games during half-time or after the game.
“I’m really excited for everyone to see the show because it’s kind of new and something we’ve never done before,” Tysick said.
In addition to supporting the marching band by listening at football games, students can show their school spirit and come to the band’s competitions.
The band has their district competition on Sept. 30, their competition in Blue Springs on Oct. 5 and their Tulsa Union competition on Oct. 12.
Drum Major junior Jefferson Harwood said audience feedback is rewarding.
“Music is such a great way to express emotion, and when we do that effectively, there’s no greater joy,” Harwood said.