Marching Band Marches


Kendall Eddington, Journalist

The Tiger Marching Band wrapped up their season this October, playing at the last Friday night home football game on October 22 and then traveling to Western Illinois University on the 23rd for their final competition. 

The marching band’s show this year was titled The Climb and featured three movements: The Mountain Pass, where they performed “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Alone, with “Night on Bald Mountain,” and Arrived, where they concluded the show with “La Forza Del Destino”. The show’s theme represents overcoming the adversities posed by the pandemic, and the color guard literally traverses mountains and climbs obstacles as the show unfolds.

The TMB performed at two competitions this year. The first was the Providence Catholic High School Invitational, where they scored third place overall for Class 1A and first place for their percussion section. Their second competition was the Western Illinois University Marching Band Classic, which entailed a four-hour drive to Macomb, Illinois. The WIU competition was different from other competitions because the divisions were based on school population rather than marching band size. This was unlucky for the TMB, as Wheaton Warrenville South has a large student population but a small marching band.

“I think that the most challenging thing about competing as a small band is the mindset that we have when we see bigger bands,” drum major Emma Miller said. “People automatically assume bigger bands are better, and that can affect morale.”

The TMB was competing against bands much bigger and louder than them at WIU, but they gave it their all and put on a spectacular performance. Out of twenty schools that performed at the competition, South had the sixth highest overall score. Watching the band perform for the last time was definitely the highlight of the season for Ms. Drake. “The students had worked so hard to perfect those seven minutes of music, and so much of their hard work was evident in that final performance,” she said.

To prepare for the fall season, the marching band members met eight hours a day for two weeks in the heat of August. Emma admits that band camp is probably the most challenging part of the season, but said that Ms. Drake always managed to make the long days fun and enjoyable.

The marching band also met for sectionals, rehearsals, and other practices during the fall season, making it a big time commitment for the members. Ms. Drake notes that this time of the season is always the most difficult part. “Classes start up again, students start to get bogged down with homework and other activities, and motivation starts to wane,” she explained. 

But the long hours and time commitment aren’t a chore for the band members because they all cherish spending time with their sections. Besides their awesome musical performances, the camaraderie and warm environment are what make Tiger Marching Band so fun. Cameron Eddington, who plays the snare, empathically said “hanging out with friends and the drumline” is her favorite part of the season. Emily Meyers, who plays baritone sax, says that marching band allows so many people to feel like they fit in somewhere, and that it “is like my second family.”

As the marching band season draws to a close, there are still opportunities for students to get involved. Winter Guard starts up this month–an indoor color guard group that performs in several competitions. “Winter guard also only performs indoors, performs to recorded music instead of live music, and involves staged choreography and equipment like flags, prop rifles, and sabres,” Ms. Drake explains. Their first rehearsal was November 4th, but anyone interested is encouraged to join–no prior experience needed!

Congrats to the Tiger Marching Band for an awesome season!