WO marching band receives a one at Festival


Sonja Collins

West Ottawa’s Marching band began practicing on June 26. With over a month of precious summer left, marching band students still committed to showing up each day to learn the 1093 counts of music and to preparing to march before the first home football game on September 6. Then, once school started, the band worked every day with instructors to memorize and perfect each movement down to the smallest details. On the field, it is possible to see an error in placement as small as 2 inches. So there were definitely hours of tedious work.

  Finally, on October 10, the band was prepared to go to MSBOA marching festival. That night the students had to exhibit perfect focus and to calm their nerves in order to get a one, which is the best possible rating. They marched and played the songs “Beethoven’s Fifth”, “Joy”, “Hoedown”, and “Firebird Suite”. After the show, the band was on edge waiting in the stands for their rating. Finally, after watching the last band perform the loudspeaker came on and the judges began to read ratings. “In class double-A, West Ottawa high school earned a 1.” The band was ecstatic and were excited the whole ride home from Zeeland High School’s stadium.

  The next day in class Instructor Michael Hamann read through the judge’s comments on their performance starting with the comment that the band displayed “a high level of concentration.” “They received As’ on both visual effect and performance’” he read as well as -As’ in marching, individual technique, and precision. He also added that he could tell the band was having fun performing that night. That is important because it’s, “not very fun to watch a performance where no one looks like they are having fun.”