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Marching Band playing with changes for 2016-17

Group moving to audition only membership

The drum majors and flag team stand in formation awaiting awards at the Bands of America marching band competition.

Bailey George

The drum majors and flag team stand in formation awaiting awards at the Bands of America marching band competition.

Bailey George and Kyle Miller, Contributors

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     No longer will the marching band be spotted on the parking lot early in the morning as they have for the past 15 years, because the Blue Valley West band program is undergoing extensive changes to its curriculum. Starting this coming fall, marching band will considered an extracurricular activity as opposed to a class.

     All rehearsals will be held after school and it “will be treated more like the annual musical or a varsity sport” according to the Head Band Director, Cheryl Lee. At the end of this year, tryouts will be held for the 2016 Red and Silver Brigade. Through the audition process, the directors and students will decide, as a team, who is ready for the responsibility of  the time commitment and self-reliance.

     Although the time commitment will be less hours per week, having concert ensembles all year will make up for the lost rehearsal time. Assistant Director Joe Stuevers has an interesting perspective.

      “Even if it’s not a direct application, that type of musicianship transfers really well to other instruments, just having finger patterns or practicing technique makes you a better musician because you know what “good” sounds like.” Stuevers said.

     He noted that students will still be getting the rehearsal time needed to be successful in marching band even if it is not on their marching instrument or outside on the field.

     This new idea of band was taken relatively well by students. Most were excited at the idea of no more early morning rehearsals including junior drum major Michael Svoren.

     “As a whole, the band is excited about the new schedule. It will aid in realizing, or at least moving toward our competitive goals,” Svoren said. “This is a proven strategy in effect at schools with incredible bands and I am confident that with the change, we will be able to leap to the upper tessitura of high school marching bands.”

     Overall, the change is welcomed with high hopes of changing the ensemble to perform at a higher level than previous years.

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