Band: Sport or nah?

Story by: Carly McWilliams, staff writer
Photos by: Jennifer McGowan, staff photographer

band sport or no

For years, the debate has been raging and has yet to be settled: should band be considered a sport?

To answer this, one must first ask what a sport technically is. Believe it or not, sports do not just consist of passing a ball around to make a goal.

The Oxford dictionary defines a sport as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” From this definition, band meets all of the regulations.

Musicians have to be very talented to play all of their pieces perfectly, and it takes a lot of physical skill to play each instrument while marching down a field. Also, the members of the band compete regularly to achieve first chair in their class, as well as competing against other schools.

band sport or no 2The concert band recently participated in ISSMA and received gold and silver ratings for their solo and ensemble groups. Also, marching band placed 4th at finals earlier this year.

So why is this still not agreed on by everyone? Maybe because the physical abilities needed to be in band are different from those in sports like track and soccer, or maybe because the band does not get as much recognition as other sports for their titles and achievements.

Band member Tara Paarlberg, 10, added, “In marching band the top half of a person must be a musician and the bottom half must be an athlete.  Much like another sport, if someone on the field messes up, the entire group suffers. Everyone matters and contributes.”

Instead of thinking of band as just another class, or the background music at basketball games, recognize it for the sport it is

MV Guard shows their stuff

Story by: Samuel Jobe
Photo by: Samuel Jobe

guard pics

There are many misconceptions about what is considered a sport. Many people believe that they have to lift weights, have a score, or even a big school turnout to be a sport. But what makes a sport is teamwork, a love for the activity, and a passion for what you do.

“Winter guard is a family. Yea it maybe rough from time to time, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Emily Frost, 11. ¨I love the sport and the people.”

Over the years the guard has gained in popularity, not just in growing numbers, but in gender differentiation as well. In the past three years gender diversity has grown from having no men to this most recent year having  two. Considering that there is such a large gender gap in almost twenty people, some may worry that there maybe gender discrimination amongst the members because it is such a female dominated sport.

However, according to Evan Schacher 12, that is not the case.

I’m actually really good friends with all of the guard members and we all are basically a big family,” he said.

guard 2Some may not consider color guard a sport because of how intricate it is and the nature of how complicated the performances can be. According to Shelbi Webb, 11, “Practices are intense and a major workout.”

Webb continued, “We run sprints, stretch, plank, and work on upper body strength so we can carry people if we need to and be able to toss sabers and flags.”

Each season of the winter guard has a certain theme and this year’s is Painting Outside the Lines which is about how it is okay to not fit into a mold somebody has tried to put someone in and that it is okay to be oneself no matter what anybody else thinks.

Over the past three years, the MVHS winter guard has taken 24th, 17th, and 11th place in state and last year they even made it to finals. Throughout the years, the guard has expanded in size, gender differentiation, and has grown to not just be an intense sport but a family as well.

Marching band success

Story by: Ashley Offenbach, staff writer
Photos by: Mackenzie Carpenter, Photo Editor

Marching band

The Mt. Vernon High School Marching Band has been doing considerably well this year, and are working very hard as a group to improve their performances each year. The band director, Mr. Ellinger, has made the MVHS Marching Band more successful over the past two years and has each and every student working precisely and putting as much dedication into it as they can.

The students in marching band spend many hours a week practicing to improve their scores at competition as well as practicing for performances.

Katie Smith, 11, put many hours into practicing and perfecting routines in order to get better scores and feel more accomplished.

¨We normally practice during school (1st block) as well as two 3 hour practices after school during the week,” said Smith. “On competition days, we practice for about 3-4 hours and then we prepare to perform that day, so we will be at band from about 7:30 in the morning to 9 or 10 at night some days. We also do football games on fridays and those like to run from after school until the end of the game. On the saturdays that we don’t have a competition, we usually have 8-5 practices

Mr. Ellinger challenges the students who participate in marching band each year, in order to get them to improve. Setting goals is important to Mr. Ellinger and he works extremely hard to help students achieve their goals as well.

¨Competitive marching bands are judged by six individuals rating their musical and visual talents in addition to judging the show itself,” Mr. Ellinger said,  “We want to make sure each student is performing their music while marching at a high level, but also performing in a way which makes “story” we are performing make sense. When instructing the students, our staff is dedicated to ensuring each student is doing their part. We all must contribute equally if we are to be successful. This is our primary goal…equal contribution

Marching band percussionMany upperclassmen in the MVHS Marching Band have put four hard years of dedication and commitment into the marching band.

Students in marching band dedicate a ton of time to perfecting their routines.

¨Our state finals week saw a more intense practice schedule,¨ said Mr. Ellinger. ¨While we normally practice every morning and Tuesday/Thursday evenings, our state finals week schedule saw practices every morning and every evening from 6pm-9pm. The performance at state finals was very solid. The students did not let the high winds or rainy weather alter their performance. Sometimes bands will enter a state finals scenario and become nervous or ‘over-hyped’. I was glad the students were calm and focused the entire day. I could not have been happier with their final show.¨

Evan Schacherer, drum major, 12, explains how marching band has made a difference in his life and helped him decide what his passion was, music.

¨Marching Band has allowed me to discover my passion for music and allowed me to decide what I want to do in life,” said Schacherer. “Marching Band has had an enormous impact on my life which has made me into who I am today. I will always continue to use what I have learned in Marching Band because it is a part of who I am.¨

The MVHS Marching Band just went to a competition Saturday, October 24, and because of all their hard work and dedication, they received fourth in the state.

marching band guard