BCHS Marching Band is challenging but rewarding


Kirat Mokha

Drum majors (left to right) Ingrid Frayer, Breck Duncan, and Gene Lee skip together as part of the band’s scatter drill.

Football games are probably the most favored Brookfield Central High School events that students attend. Sports like football allow students to show their school pride, whether that be by scoring touchdowns out on the field or encouraging the team from the stands. The cheerleaders prompt the crowd’s hurrahs from the ground, and the Lancerettes fire up their spirit with their dance routines. But a home football game can never be complete without one key component: the Brookfield Central marching band.

For several decades, the BC marching band has attended football games to add to the invigorating and exciting mood set by the fans. Many band traditions have been carried on for a very long time such as the playing of the school song after every touchdown, and some have been newly born such as yelling the phrase “BC FOOTBALL!” at the kickoffs. However, this does not mean that there aren’t struggles to go along with the fun. Emily Balfe (‘20) says, “Although marching band is a lot of fun, the hardest part about it is taking time out of my schedule to go to games when I already had things planned for that day.” Balfe goes on to say that she finds it hard to balance her time with the Lancerettes and the marching band. “During the state game, I was told that the Lancerettes were performing right after and that I wouldn’t have time to change into my uniform. I had to take off my entire marching band uniform and switch to my Lancerettes uniform and then march in the cold with that on. It was hectic.”

That’s another thing: the weather. In Wisconsin, the temperatures can get really low and any wind chill or precipitation only makes things worse. Pair that with a baggy uniform and a wood or metal instrument, and everyone’s nerves and fears of messing up on the field are amplified. Nevertheless, the band pulls through and gives their best even when their they’re being pelted on by the rain and their fingers feel like they’re about to fall off.

Furthermore, it’s a real struggle trying to gather up members from all three bands – Concert, Symphonic, and Wind – and find the time to practice together. The three-day mandatory band camp in August often interferes with people’s vacations, and the two-hour nighttime practices scattered throughout the month of September (and sometimes bleeding into October) conflict with extracurriculars, such as sports and other activities. Lancer Block is not very reliable because students tend to have priorities elsewhere plus it is only thirty minutes long. Drum major Breck Duncan (‘18) states, “If I were to say which part our marching band needs improvement on, I’d say it’s finding time to practice as a collective group. With the music program split up into three bands, we practice together as a complete unit only one time a week. If we could find an organized way to meet together during the school day, then the marching band would be a lot better.”

Despite all those things, the band enjoys the privilege of playing for the students and parents of BC. Many members agree that it is always a lot of fun to play the upbeat pep tunes on the sidelines. Duncan comments, “I think my favorite part of marching band is getting together with kids from all the bands and being able to play our instruments together.” Band director Jason Gillette remarks, “I am most proud of the teamwork and the dedication to do our very best throughout the entire season. Our marching band received many positive comseason. I feel that our band students served Brookfield Central and our extremely successful football program in a fine fashion.”