City High Marching Band Preview

This year the marching band is on fire!


Madeline Deninger

Marching band students practice on the soccer turf.

Madeline Deninger and Lucy Wagner

On a Saturday afternoon, students attempt to sort out their alignment as their director calls out instructions over a loudspeaker. This marks the beginning of the 2015 Little Hawk marching band season, which features the theme “Latin Fire”.

I love this theme. I decided on it because the music became available this year and because it is exciting music that our students and crowd will both appreciate,” band director Ryan Arp said. “I also like the exposure to music of Latin music for the students, give them greater exposure to musical styles from around the world.

The first competition of the season featuring this theme is the Little Hawk Marching Invitational, held on October 3, 2015, at City High School. This competition is hosted by City High for bands located in the area. Hopes are high among band members as the ultimate goal of winning “division one” serves as motivation throughout the eight-hour practices.

“Well obviously we want to get first division – it’s like first division, second division, third division…first is the best!” clarinet Rachel Fischer ‘17 said.

The adjustment for freshmen can be difficult, according to Fischer.

“[The freshmen] are obviously pretty timid at first because they don’t really know us – it’s a lot of ‘newness’ at once. But I think that they’re doing fine!”

This year’s theme of “Latin Fire” will also be new for the band, as last year’s theme was “Behind the Mask” (featuring themes such as Batman and The Incredibles). However, clarinet Eleanor Mildenstein ‘17 is optimistic.

“I think the ‘Latin Fire’ theme will be good. At first I was worried that the music wouldn’t fit marching band style, but it works pretty well, and I’m really excited for our show.”

Snare Machlen Polfliet ‘17 agreed about the difficulty of the compositions this year.  

“The music this year is a lot harder but at the same time we’ve been working much better together so we’re progressing much quicker.”

Practices for the band can be held for as long as eight hours, but Fisher says the band benefits from them.

“Each eight-hour practice we learn a song. And then we practice 30-40 minutes first period. As Mr. Arp says, ‘Every time we do it, it’s the best time that we’ve done it!’”

Fans can also catch the marching band as they perform at this Friday’s home varsity football game.

“I always tell the band that each performance, even in rehearsal, should be your BEST performance. As long as everyone gives their best effort and has focus, that’s all I hope for,” Arp said. “When everyone gives their best, great things can happen!”