Marching band gears up for pep season


Callie Hedtke

“My favorite part about band camp was seeing the little freshmen initially come in very scared and timid, but become very comfortable and gain a lot of friends during our short week together.” ~Kiana Ratay (‘19)

Practice, play, repeat; all athletes are familiar with this routine. You wake up early, get out on the field, practice hard for a few hours, go home to refuel and rest, then come back the next day to do it again. And again. And again, every day leading up to game day: the day that you finally get to show off the new skills that you’ve been practicing to hundreds of people. After the game, whether you’re celebrating a victory or pondering a loss, you know that in a couple of days it will be back to square one. Practice, play, repeat.

However, this system does not solely apply to athletes. The students in the Brookfield Central marching band know this process extremely well. Halfway through the month of August, the marching band came together for the first time to learn and rehearse new music, practice marching, and acclimate themselves to playing instruments outside. Prior to band camp, section leaders met with the band director, Mr. Gillette, to discuss topics pertaining to their instrument sectionals and devise a game plan for each day of camp.

Practice was held from nine o’clock until noon Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; each instrument group chose an area of the school building to practice and rehearsed several pep tunes. Each day ended with the entire band gathering in the band room and playing the songs together as a full band. The week finally concluded with a pizza lunch and the band’s second annual water balloon fight on Thursday, as well as a trip to Six Flags on Friday.

One might wonder what the purpose of a midsummer week of rehearsal is — well, with football season already underway, the pep band is getting ready to show their support from the sidelines. Plus, this year’s new students were able to experience how the band operates during the fall, giving them a comfortable introduction to the Brookfield Central music program. One of the main priorities of the band is to get to know everyone and be as inclusive as possible. With over one hundred students in total, this tends to be a challenge. Nevertheless, band camp served well as a preliminary for the upcoming school year; the week was all about working hard, meeting new people, and most importantly, having fun!