Let’s Go Band!

Aaaand… Let’s Go Jordan!


Michele Gress

Senior Night! From Left to Right: Lauren Dickinson, Jack Skinner, Macy Vance, Mary Whiteside, Leah Tarwater, Zachary Marjan

Leah Tarwater, Reporter

On October 22, the Saints Brigade Marching Band and Sapphires Color Guard took a day trip to Kansas State University. At this showcase, bands from all over the state demonstrated what they have been working on all season. After a powerful ‘Les Miserables’ performance by the K-State Marching Band, officially known as the Pride of Wildcat Land, each band was graded by judges who watched from the top of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

The day began early for most of the band, as we had to arrive at school before 8 a.m. in order to load all of our flags and instruments into the trailer and secure a good seat on the bus. After about two hours on a bumpy road and a traditional pit stop, we made it to KSU. We had almost an hour to stretch our legs and explore, so most kids went for food, which I think is what finally woke most of us up. At noon, the brigade met with Pride band members for a clean-up clinic, where each section was given pointers on how to look sharp, improve sound and visuals, and captivate the audience and judges. 

Post-clinic, the brigade had lunch packed by kind band parents and continued to work hard on our set, until it was our time to perform. As 3:30 approached, the band watched other area bands before the Saints performance. Walking through the tunnel of the massive college football stadium, the color guard held their flags high and the marching band moved forward at attention. The announcer introduced the brigade and surprised us all with a message from one of the moms, encouraging us to do our best and finishing her message by saying “let’s go saints, and let’s go Jordan,” an unforgettable message from sophomore trumpet player Jordan Prue’s mom that reminded us to have fun and celebrate our hard work with the friends we have made this year. Drum majors Jack Skinner and Mary Whiteside led their band one last time and earned cheers from those watching in the stadium during their iconic, one-of-a-kind salute.

Eight hours into the day, the full band finally had time to relax and have some fun. Pizza was delivered for an early dinner at 5 and parents, coaches, and students alike came together to enjoy breadsticks and pepperoni pizza slices. After a moment to unwind, refuel, change into more comfortable clothes and toss around a football, it was time to head back to the stadium and support the next four hours of bands, just as they had supported us. Luckily, we were seated in the cushioned seats of the stadium, so we weren’t distracted by uncomfortable seats while trying to enjoy the impressive performances in front of us. Some kids went for stadium snacks and some tried to configure how to take a quick nap without looking asleep. Eventually, the day came to an end, the Saints Brigade accepted their placement award, and everyone hopped back onto the bus for the ride home.

The seniors would like to thank everyone, especially band Director Mr. John Burgess and Sapphires Color Guard coach Mrs. Taberie Kramer, for an incredible season. Although this may have been the only season for color guard seniors Lauren Dickinson, Leah Tarwater, and Macy Vance, they couldn’t have imagined a better addition to their senior year. Jack Skinner and Mary Whiteside have just finished their fourth year in the band, finishing strong on their drum major platforms, and Zachary Marjan finished his third year in the Brigade as a mellophone player. Isaac Winkler, Isabel Gollhofer, and Arden Hornung each completed the season with beautiful solos. For the rest of the academic year, the pep band can be seen performing at basketball games, the concert band can be found performing at concerts and a state festival in the Spring. The band is open for anyone to join, and feel free to email John Burgess ([email protected]) if you have any questions – he would love to expand the band!