Band hopes to repeat States success with new look

Jane Mercer • Staff Writer

The Hayes High School Marching Band is starting their year off with more than a month of practice and training under their belts and, of course, Class, Pride and Enthusiasm.

The Hayes Marching Band has gone through some major changes this year including things such as brand new uniforms, a show theme that ranges from dark and mysterious to bright and upbeat, and even new conditioning methods for the students during their weeks at band camp. With that said, the band is hoping for a great year and is ready to perform at their very best.

One of the biggest, most anticipated changes to the band this year is the addition of the brand new uniforms. This was a huge deal for the band, considering they haven’t had new uniforms in over 13 years.

They spent three years gathering money from events such as “sending letters to businesses, going door to door, selling Pacer flags, and hosting car washes,” said Andrew Doherty, director of the marching band. It took some time to get things in order for the uniforms.

The band spent time “setting up a strategy to raise the money, targeting businesses and citizens to donate, arranging fundraisers, getting bids on designs for the uniforms, and the actual manufacturing of the uniforms,” Doherty said.

The show theme is also very unique this year, especially compared to anything the band has ever done in the past. This year’s show theme is entitled “Escape From Within” featuring songs such as “Solveigs Song,” “Aha!” by Imogen Heap, and “Fix You” by Coldplay.

Doherty says they “chose pieces that will allow them to go from being intense, to loud and angry, to blissful.”

An interesting aspect of the show this year is the changing of the guard’s uniforms. The guard starts off with tattered black uniforms during the intense part, and when the music changes moods, the guard changes uniforms into light colored ones.

The process for making all these decisions for the concept of the show take a lot of time in advance. A group first came together to discuss ideas and a timeline for the show, then they started to throw ideas out for music.

Once the group had a show concept and some musical ideas, they then discussed what they could do visually, which includes the flag and guard design, body movements, and drill design. “It takes a few months to solidify what we want, then the designers begin writing the music, drill, and guard work,” Doherty said.

Another aspect the band focused on this year was physical training during the earlier days of  band practice. This year’s show is very aggressive, loud, and fast, requiring the band to be able to perform at a high level. The students spent a lot of time running and doing other conditioning to make sure they could meet the demands of the show.

They also decided to change the marching technique this year, “by focusing on strength and conditioning, basic playing and movement fundamentals, and having a good attitude, we were able to build on our accomplishments from last year,” Doherty said.

To make sure every section of the band performs at its very best, the drumline, front ensemble, woodwinds, and brass each have their own instructors who were hired from Capital University. They specialize in the specific instruments in each section. The benefit of this is more one-on-one time with students, specialized instruction on each instrument, and being efficient use of rehearsal time. “We use sectional time to get better at our individual needs, and ensemble time to get better as a group,” Doherty said.

The band members are looking forward to breaking the records set for two years running along with getting the highest rankings at states.

“I think the band season will be more challenging this year because the music and drill are a lot harder and more intense than they were last year,” said band member Sydney Hanula. Overall, the band hopes to show how much hard work they’ve put into every single detail.