Football season is definitely up and running and in the background are some musicians looking to keep the momentum going.
In high school, the marching band provides opportunities to enrich students musically as well as academically.
The students practice for home football games as well as for competitions and special events.
The first high school marching band in Newberry County to be featured is Whitmire Community.
Each year, bands choose a theme which helps them pick what music they would like to play. This year, the Wolverines chose Les Miserables which was a 1860 novel turned musical in the 1980s.
According to the band director for Whitmire, Rob Gunning, the band decided on this theme because there is an upcoming major movie coming out soon.
Whitmire has actually done the Les Miserables theme about 15 years ago but decided to do it again because of the uprising popularity.
The band practices a few days each week during the school year but practice time also carried on this past summer. Gunning also says that there was band camp to help students.
The camp was held during certain days in August so even before school started, students were tuning up their instruments.
As for the instruments, students usually have an instrument that they purchased or were given, but Gunning also says that the band has instruments for students to use.
The larger and more expensive ones including tubas and certain percussion instruments are available for students to use if that is the instrument they wish to play.
When students spend so much time working, and playing, together then a family like bond is bound to form, according to Gunning.
Gunning says, “Band members spend so much time with each other working together for a common goal that we all become like on big family. Unlike most sports teams, the marching band does not have anyone sitting on the bench, waiting for their turn to perform. Everyone in the marching band is on first string, and must perform at that level. Our veterans really understand that, and help guide and instruct our younger members with all the patience and maturity they can muster.”
Playing the drums or flute, or anything really, does help a student cognitively, adds Gunning, who lists multi tasking as a skill that is strengthened as musicians.
Gunning explains that the band students often multi task by having to read the notes, figure out how long to perform the notes, maintain good body posture and keep on track with one self and everyone else.
Gunning says that there are plenty of people who help the band out. In addition to the school district and administration, there is the Band Booster Club and businesses in and around the area of Whitmire and Newberry.
The booster club is made of parents and Gunning says that they set up trips, fundraisers and other support areas.
The band always plays at home games as well as competitions and often times used home football games as practice time for the contests and competitions.
Their first competition is at Boiling Springs High Oct. 24.