GLHS band marches off 2018

Photo by Jonathan Callison

Photo by Jonathan Callison

Jonathan Callison, Copy Editor

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    As school starts up, many extracurricular activities and sports begin taking place. For the residents of Grand Ledge, one activity ensues that can be heard throughout the town. To many students in the Grand Ledge High School, band  is not just an activity, it is a pastime with friends who become family.

Mr. Szczerowski provides constructive criticism and encouragement. The band makes performing look easy, but it takes lots of correcting from Mr. S.

This year’s band has been practicing diligently since the 2017-2018 school year wrapped up. Approximately 200 students have been practicing at least one to two times a week for two hours all summer. Then came band camp. Camp sounds like all fun and games, but not for these hardworking students. The band practiced for eight to nine hours everyday while at camp. Camp was hosted at Cran-Hill Ranch near Ferris State University. They toughed out the heat, rain, the hill, and bears (ankle-breaker holes in the practice field). Ask a band member about the hill and they will have a story. Once they got back, they had a small performance on the turf field for friends and family. After just a week of work, their show was coming along very well. Their hard work was evident.

   “This year’s band is GREAT,” Mr. Szczerowski, Director of GL bands said. “A lot of positivity and really hard workers. The students really take pride in what we do.”

   Mr. Szczerowski is not the only one that thought this year’s band is great. Senior Drum Major Sheila Sun also thinks it is an excellent band this year. Sun was a drum major last year as a junior.

   The band is pretty good this year,” Sun said.  We had a good week at camp over the summer and have been making good progress. My favorite part about being in the band is getting to know new people and being able to share the experience with my friends.”

   The band did not get a break after coming home from camp. With school starting up, practices became longer and more frequent. The drum majors and section leaders have all stepped up to get the band ready for the season.

   “I couldn’t be more proud of my drum majors and section leaders,” Mr. Szczerowski  said. “They are some of the most dedicated and hardworking young people I have ever had the privilege to work with.”

   Senior Drum Majors Sheila Sun, Anthony Rodeman, and junior Drum Major Sidney Sparks have all put in many hours on and off the field to help make the band succeed through their leadership.

   “It can be stressful to lead everybody, but it’s a great experience and I’m glad I have the chance to do it,” Sheila Sun said.

   Not only the drum majors have to work hard and help through leadership skills, the section leaders have to do the same, just on a smaller scale.

   “It’s a lot of fun to lead a section in band,” senior Payton Cole, Mellophone section leader said. “There’s some pressure in feeling like I have to meet expectations, but band has become a passion for me over the last six years. There are a lot of new people in band this year, which is really exciting since the band gets a new ‘personality’ every year. Band has given me so many friends. The majority of my friends are in band, so we all can connect over a common interest. I really love playing music as well, and being in band has become such a large part of my life.”

This year’s band has chosen another powerful theme. This year it is the theme of Les Misérables. Les Misérables is a book, musical, and a movie on the French Revolution, which took place from May 5, 1789 to Nov 9, 1799. The songs that the band will be performing for the halftime shows at the football game and at the band competitions are songs from the musical.

   “I came up with Les Mis for a few reasons: 1) it is arguably the most popular musical in the last 30 years, 2) the music itself is some of the greatest composed, 3) due to its popularity,” Mr. Szczerowski said. “I knew it would be a theme that the kids would really love to play.”

   The band continues to work hard and prepare for this season. For the community that gets to see their performances, they make it look easy. However, it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to make the performance flawless. These students make it look very effortless. Be sure to catch a performance at a football game or at the band exhibition Oct. 10. Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Grand Ledge band.

About the Writer
Jonathan Callison, Copy Editor/Graphic Designer

This is John’s second year on the newspaper staff, but also his last because he is a senior. When John is not writing or at school, most likely he is hunting, fishing, kayaking, or just doing something in the great outdoors.

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