Marching to Success – Marching Band

Josie Lee, Spear Contributor

Fresh perspective provides a great forecast to another arduous, yet enjoyable season of marching for the Arapahoe Marching Band members. “This year is so much different than other years, there is just this new energy, this new passion” says Drum Major Manny Galvan. The new Drum Majors this year, Manny Galvan (Trumpet), Riley O’Rourke (Clarinet), and Zachary Woosley (Percussionist), make an extreme effort to create a strong bond among the band members. “We try to keep reminding them that every moment counts,” says O’Rourke “ we really want everyone to feel included this year. We tried to approach everyone with a community mindset.” Students in the Marching Band spend a large amount of time together, about three hours everyday after school and while there are competitions almost every Saturday all day long while there are competitions. “On Saturday’s we basically just live together” says Anthony Triffiletti, Sophomore saxophone player. Learning names is the game for Marching Band members, and not just first and last names, but also nicknames. Strong bonds are formed when the team takes time to get to know one another, they feel more like a family than a group of students. “When season hits, you have a whole new family, filled with incredible people that I’m honored to work with” says Galvan. Ultimately, the glue that pieces this family together is the extreme amount of talent and contagious positive attitude that you’re bound to catch.

This strong enthusiasm is found not only amongst the veterans, but the younger members as well. “Honestly, I got more friends out of it and I think I made a deeper connection to other people” says freshman Ben Bleichrodt. Marching band is a new expedition for many. Therefore there are new challenges to conquer, but also new benefits to celebrate. “[the veterans] help us if we need help on homework” says freshman Abigail Hennigar “they’re really really helpful and I am very glad that I can work with them”. There seems to be no disconnect in age difference, no matter what year they are everyone seems to connect well. Freshman face a unique challenge to their class, while learning to balance the responsibilities of high school as a whole they also have to learn how to balance this new dedication. “I didn’t expect it to be such a commitment, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world” says Hennigar. Bleichrodt also makes a statement about the new commitment: “Marching band is a lot more physical than a normal sit down band”, he says, “There is nothing that can really prepare you”. Although these new members are faced with a unique challenge, they are still committed and open to learning how to balance this new activity.

Leading into their fourth year of Marching Band, each Drum Major agrees that they have no regrets. “This has defined my high school career, and I’m extremely thankful for that” says O’Rourke. These three seniors are dedicating so many hours to marching band this year that they really need to be in control of their schedules. “I come earlier and I stay later. My time management skills are definitely improving, and I really understand my priorities” says Woosley. Being a Drum Major comes with respect, and also plenty of responsibility. “We’re constantly in character, constantly projecting confidence.” says O’Rourke. Galvan agrees: “you really need to be a leader”, he says, “you have to know what you’re doing every moment, even if you don’t have a plan you need to act like you have one”. These students step up to the challenge and are rocking their positions this year, but as one might expect, it’s been an interesting transition. “Some people just don’t want to listen, especially because we’re the same age and last year I was in the same position they are now” says Woosley, “I can relate to the difficulties they have because I was in the same position, but it’s just difficult because they don’t always want to listen to me”. As with any leadership position, there are always a handful of people that don’t want to follow directions, but Drum Majors Galvan, O’Rourke, and Woosley work hard to  lead those few in the right direction.

There are diverse struggles amongst the newcomers and the veterans, but ultimately all of those difficulties are insignificant when compared to the lifelong relationships these students have gained. “The community in the band this year is stronger than it has been, this will definitely reflect in our sound”, says Gonzalez. This strong sense of community and highly pronounced dedication resulted in a successful season for the Arapahoe Marching Band. Once again, the band continued to state. Contributing to the legacy of success as state finalists, the Arapahoe Marching Band placed 6th in state.  A fresh set of Drum Majors, some new faces, and a harmonious environment is exactly what was needed to start the year off right. Ultimately their cumulative good attitude lead to a great season, and set some new expectations for the goals of next year.