Marching on

Bailey Vrem, Editor

  For years, the marching band has been accredited nationwide for adding some spice, keeping the energy high, and creating a positive high school and even college experience. Band members devote their time and skill to make our memories significantly more memorable. Just like how every instrument is unique in its own way, the same could be said for each musician. 

  Sophomore Manuel Chacon has played the flute for five years, starting in middle school. “My band teacher in middle school was the best,” said Chacon, “she was so fun.” Chacon has not favored the band teachers in high school.

  “In fifth grade, my teacher was hyping band up, I just picked up the flute honestly,” said Chacon. Staying devoted to the band, Chacon performs around five songs a year and works on his music for roughly an hour a day. “The Mountain View theme song was the hardest to learn because it went very fast,” said Chacon, “we had to memorize it quickly.”

  Mountain View doesn’t partake in any huge competitions for bands and the pandemic put a twist on how they usually do things. “We had this one event that wasn’t really a competition, it was a way for bands to get together and see what we could improve on,” said Chacon, “we would get feedback from the judges and I loved hearing the other bands rock it.” 

  Accomplished drum major Bailey Bianco has participated in band for a total of seven years and has enrolled in numerous courses to enhance her instrumental skill. Bianco plays clarinet and tenor saxophone, while additionally conducting the entire marching band show. 

  Out of three other people, Bianco was selected to be drum major. Normally, she said they have ten to twenty try out, but the pandemic caused things to be a little different. Bianco said, “It’s a whole audition process, you have to conduct the national anthem in front of the band, and then you have a written interview as well as a vocal interview.”

  Bianco has many favorite memories from the band, but her favorite would have to be section dress-up day because the entire section gets to dress up as a theme and it turns into a huge competition. She is also well into her seventh year playing clarinet and is coming up on her fourth year playing saxophone. 

  “I was privately schooled from kindergarten all the way up to seventh grade and band was one of the only other electives besides sports,” said Bianco, “it kind of just gave me something else to do with my free time, and I kind of just fell in love with it from there.” Her free time is certainly occupied between the band, jazz ensemble, and choir; Bianco spends seven to ten hours a week rehearsing. 

  She finds that those commitments can be particularly demanding but overall feels like she does well balancing all her commitments. She said, “I just make time for it when I can and if I can’t get to it, I give myself grace and move on to the next day.” 

  Sophomore Chipper Banks also has quite an important part to play in the functioning of the band. Banks plays percussion which includes front ensembles such as xylophones, symbols, and other auxiliary instruments. 

  Banks recalls his favorite memory including getting to the stadium really early in preparation for games and getting pizza to go along with it. “We have to be at the stadium at two o’clock and we also get pizza so those times are pretty cool.” 

  “I just kind of liked music, and I wanted to make music eventually,” said Banks, “I think this is a good start.” Banks has stuck with the band for a total of four years and he plans to continue playing throughout high school.

  Banks is front row at sporting events and is included in just about every song and chant they do. He mentions that the hardest cheer to learn was the shake your booty cheer and he still can’t fully wrap his head around the chant. 

  On the other hand, junior Preston Gerwing and junior Nick Hailey picked up on the cheers rather quickly and didn’t have much difficulty memorizing them. Hailey plays the double bass, electric bass, and french horn. He has played since sixth grade and is coming up on his sixth year performing in a band. 

  Gerwing plays the trombone and alto saxophone and has played the same duration as Hailey. 

“My favorite memory was definitely the first time I got to solo in jazz band my freshman year,” said Gerwing. Hailey said, “I think it would have to be band camp this year, I liked helping people relearn their instruments and enjoy the music.” 

  Hailey started out in orchestra and later joined the band because he wanted more music. He is currently enrolled in a jazz ensemble, orchestra, and band additionally. His added practice makes learning the chants easy and he knows all of them by heart. 

  Gerwing expresses similarities in the ease with music but mentions that trombone can be difficult at times. He said, “It can be difficult especially for trombone because there’s no definite position where notes play, you have to move the slide out to a certain position so it’s a little bit harder than others.” 

  Alongside being in a band, Gerwing also plays for the Mountain View football team. During halftime, he never goes into the locker room and comes directly onto the field. Gerwing mentions that the heat is one of his least favorite parts, but helping the freshman is certainly one of his favorite parts. 

  Mountain View has an outstanding band full of incredibly accomplished players and the energy they bring to each and every game is unmatched. Games simply wouldn’t be the same without our band and luckily we have many skilled students here to stay!