Marching Band Ends Superhero Season and Builds Toward 2020


Rachel Meehan

Drum Majors Joseph Bennett '20, Katherine Itrona '20, and Toby Epstein '21 Saluting the audience for the marching pre-game to start.

Eli Jaskolka, Reporter

The City High Marching Band ended their season with the Halloween show during the home game for the varsity football team. This year has been different from previous years for the band. They received a new co-teacher, Michael Kowbel. Along with Kowbel, most of the band section leaders were also entering in a new role. Aaron Ottmar, the other co-teacher for the bands also has entered a different position. Despite all the new leaders, the band considers this year a successful season. 

“It’s been really impressive, I think our show on Friday night last week was really something to watch,” Kowbel states. “Just seeing the band do their all on the field was really exciting.” 

Katherine Itrona ‘20, the head Drum Major, believes the band has improved from the previous year. 

“I really think it’s the atmosphere change in marching band that lets us get along so much better,” said Itrona. “It feels like so much more of a family.” 

Along with Itrona, Ottmar agrees that the band is better than it was before in his few years of teaching. 

“I think everybody felt a greater sense of comfort with marching band,” said Ottmar, “and I think it was mine and Mr. Kowbel’s goal to make marching band more beneficial and more educational for everybody.”

Joseph Bennett ‘20, the other senior Drum Major, also states what he felt this year was like.

“This year is definitely more like a test year in a sense,” said Bennett. “The sophomores and juniors honestly have done an incredible job of adapting to the changes that have been made.” 

Reflecting on how it felt for the year, Bennett also talked about his own ambitions for the band. 

“I would have liked to do a lot more activities and outside fun things in the breaks of practices, or having other sorts of team building,” said Bennett. “I thought it’d be better if we had more fun break times where we basically play some games and bond with one another.”

Since Kowbel has had previous marching experience in professional marching with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2008, he decided to write the visuals for the show this year. 

“I wanted the show to be visually engaging, yet achievable for the level of marchers we have in the program,” said Kowbel. “I just had a few ideas that I ended up trying to get on paper and it worked really well, and the students rose up to the challenge.”

Itrona shares the same feelings as Kowbel with how the show went, while praising the newest members. 

“Kudos to the sophomores, because they brought it,” said Itrona. “Going from never doing a show to this level of a show is really impressive, especially our last performance of the show. That was really good.”

For his first year here, Kowbel is getting quite excited for the new trimester. 

“I think we’re all just really excited to get into the next chapter of the year and dig our fingers into something new,” said Kowbel. “I’ve been coming in each morning and studying my scores so I can get ready for it.”

While Kowbel is excited, the Drum Majors have different thoughts. After conducting for the first part of the year, Itrona discusses how it felt for her last year. 

“It is the weirdest transition ever. Luckily for me I’m flute and that’s the front row so you’re just going from the podium to like three steps over,” said Itrona. “It’s so strange to have this [transition] because for months you’re standing on the podium and having everyone stare at you, and then you merge into the crowd and you become part of all the people. There’s a really weird power trip for a few weeks where the people around you are used to you being an authority figure, and then all of the sudden you have zero authority.”

After hearing Itrona’s comments, it makes Bennett a little nervous for his own experience.

“I never really thought of the idea of having a power trip. I knew it’d be weird sitting down and not being able to tell people what to do,” said Bennett. “I never really was one to tell people to do this or that, but I don’t know what it’s going to feel like sitting down and making myself shut up for a little bit.”

For the past few months of school, the Drum Majors and teachers of the band have expressed hopes for the next few years of marching band.

“I think having a band that will be used to how things work now will be able to do so much more next year,” said Bennett. “I’m really excited to come back and see that.”