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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like… Marching Band Season!!

I don’t know about you, but I am SUPER excited about this marching band season! Let me take a moment to introduce myself! My name is Sarah Harber, and my daughter, Bella, is a sophomore clarinet player this year. Due to the COVID pandemic, this is her first chance to really get out there and perform with marching band. So, I am one of the “newbie” parents! However, I’m really an “oldie”, as I am a super proud Spirit of Woodlan alum, marching 5 years (8th-12th) from the fall of 1992- fall of 1996. My years in marching band were some of the best in my life, and I’ll never forget what it felt like to hear the announcement that we would be going to State Finals for the first time in Woodlan’s history. We were all incredibly proud of our 5th, then 4th, then 3rd place finishes under the direction of the amazing Terry Fisher. Several of you parents were right there marching with me! I was clearly elated when Bella came to me and told me she wanted to try out marching band when she started at Woodlan for her freshman year. Ah, my heart! You’ll probably be seeing me a lot this band season, as well as my husband, Jason, and Bella’s older sister, Ellie, a senior at Woodlan this year. Jason has been helping build the props for this year’s show, and we both are volunteering for just about everything we can. We can always use more volunteers to make the show run smoothly, so please help out when and where you can! Many hands make light work!

I hear that Kathy did an amazing job on the blog for the last several years, and her shoes will be difficult to fill! I wanted the blog to continue on this year, so I agreed to pick this up last week! I won’t pretend to be the amazing writer Kathy is, but I hope you’ll bear with me as I stumble through this new adventure! I have a lot to learn about how band works “now” compared to “back then” (What are they doing with their feet? The sways? The kneeling? What?!?). I’m amazed at what band competitions have evolved into, and I truly believe these kids are musicians, athletes, and artists! I can’t wait to see what they accomplish this year!

We were all so very disappointed to not have a “normal” marching band season last year, and I know our disappointment was only a fraction of what those families that have been through a regular band season must have felt! I know that the anticipation and excitement for this year’s show is felt by us all.

Uniform fittings under way!!!

Seeing my baby in her first marching uniform brought tears to my eyes! Exactly the reaction Bella told Sarah Gunder I would have when she sent me the pic!

There has been a lot of work done by so many to get this band ready for the upcoming season. From band camp to learning drills to evening practices, the students and staff have been putting in the work day and night to perfect their skills. Parents have been busy fitting uniforms, working on props, working concession stands, planning fundraisers, getting room and locker decorations ready, practicing for pit crew, and so much more (again, I’m still learning!!). As I was working in the band room the other night on uniform carts, I had the delight to hear a portion of the show during practice and I was amazed at how good they already sound. (I may have choked back my tears and wanted to clap so proudly… shh!)

The build crew hard at work on set props!

Creating Egyptian masterpieces fit for a queen.... Queen Cleopatra!

Room decorations have begun!

Student lockers are all ready for the first weekend of competition!

The band and guard practicing under the stadium lights with some of the props in place. It's all coming together!

The pit crew had their first practice to learn how to set the field.

The pit crew learning where all the props will be placed. Yay for all the volunteers!

The time is almost near for the first performances this weekend. I hope to see you all at the football game Friday night and the first competition this Saturday, September 11, “On the Banks of the Wabash” at Bluffton High School. Woodlan performs at 4:30pm with Open D Awards at 5:45pm.

It’s really beginning to look a lot like marching band season, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Photo credits: the amazing Sarah Gunder

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