Across the nation, high school marching band students are beginning to prepare for a rigorous yet rewarding few months perfecting their show for football games and field tournaments. For the first quarter of school, marching band students must spend many hours a week dedicated to music and marching, both of which require high levels of awareness and concentration.
Marching band offers an opportunity to get involved at school. At Irvine High School, the marching band takes part in pep rallies, football games, and other on-campus activities. “Marching band brings students together who are looking for an activity to be a part of high school,” says Irvine High alumni and drum major Scott Avzaradel. “It allows for people with completely different backgrounds to come together to work at a common goal.” Scott now is a student leader at University of Oregon’s athletic band who continues to lead his peers.
High school marching bands have the opportunity to share their progress by competing against other bands at field tournaments. Irvine High hosts one field tournament every year in October, the Irvine Invitational Field Tournament in which more than 30 schools come to compete. At these competitions, judges critique the show’s musicality and visual aspects.
Not only can students in the band showcase their hard work through their show, but they can audition to participate in drum and bugle corps. These groups tend to be more professional than school marching bands, competing on tours over the summer. Auditions to be part of a corps can start as early as October of the previous year.
Though very demanding, marching band proves to be beneficial to students. “Marching band has taught me how to overcome the greatest of challenges without doubting myself or my ability to overcome that challenge,” says Woodbridge High baritone section leader Jenny Kim. “I know I’m able to do everything if I give it 100% and I apply that confidence with other things.”
With the growing numbers of marching band students at Irvine High and across the nation, marching band has become an influential and challenging activity. It helps students get involved within their school and can positively impact their lives.