By Cheyenne Lazarus (Whetstone contributor)
Sophomore Eugene Nelson enjoys his Wednesday evenings practicing for the marching band. First, the band starts with a five-minute drill on the football field. Then, depending on the day, Nelson might spend his two-hour practice working on one song with the band, or he might go through multiple songs.
Last year, Wesley began its first-ever “pep band.” This year, they gained the official title of “Marching Band.”
“I like learning about the education and the process,” Nelson said. “I also like being one-on-one with the director, learning from him.”
His favorite performance was last year’s spring showcase.
“It was a Broadway-themed show,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the next jazz band performance this spring.”
Sophomore Leah Lowery said she was involved in her high school’s marching band and continued with it when she came to Wesley last year.
“I enjoy marching band and playing music,” she said. “My favorite performance was Family Day this year when everyone came together. It felt like a really good performance.”
Sophomore Damyra Price said she did color guard at her high school and then joined when she came to Wesley.
“It’s a free elective that can bring up my GPA,” she said.
She said Homecoming this year was their biggest performance and it was one of her favorites.
“I loved our performance of Proud Mary by Tina Turner,” she said.
There are about 25 students in Wesley’s marching band, said Director Brian Cass.
“We still need more people,” he said. “We’ll start recruiting in the spring.”
Cass said he was in his high school’s marching band and it interested him enough to start teaching and writing music. He’s done this since 1995.
He said he’s looking forward to the next football home game performance Nov. 16 and then the concert band performance in the spring.
He also said marching band should be fun.
“It provides a social group with a common goal,” he said. “There’s a ‘family’ type support system that extends beyond the rehearsal hall and football field. No one’s on the sidelines, everyone is playing all of the time.”
It’s also something to add to your resume, he said.
“It shows that you participated in a team-type atmosphere,” he said. “It shows potential employers that you can operate in a workplace setting. It demonstrates that you can work in an environment for a common goal.”
If interested, students can sign up for MU199C in the spring or they can email him at Brian.Cass@wesley.edu.