Marching band works hard to perform at a higher level

Caroline Cuccinelli, Online Editor

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What did you do this summer?

Many students spent the end of their summer lying out by the pool, spending time with friends, or just relaxing at home.

However, this was not the case for the members of the GRC Marching Band, as they were hard at work spending 9 hours a day preparing for their competition season.

Our Marching Band performs at the football games and prepares for competitions recurrently all while balancing their social and academic commitments. Their sense of family allows them to focus on creating a supportive community.

They have dedicated countless hours of their time and energy to prepare for competition season by practicing before school starts, 3-4 days a week during school, and spending their weekends at competitions.

“I am always so proud of our kids and the commitment they make to do this activity at the highest levels,” says GRC Band Director, Mr. Payne.

Drum majors Alex Cole and Glory Ferrell have been part of the GRC Marching Band program throughout their high school career and are unconditionally committed to the marching band.

“This is my 5th year in marching band and the growth over the years has exceeded my expectations,” says Cole. “We’ve nearly doubled in size and the standards for our players gets higher every year. The band is a hard-working, driven group that I’m honored to be a part of.”

The GRC band is like a family for so many of our students and its participants.

“Every band kid’s favorite place in the school is the band room,” says Ferrell. “We go there with our people and we’re home.”

Mr. Payne is excited about finally having a home stadium, and the difference it will make in the students’ experiences.

“We have already had 10 hours of practice on turf this season, which is more than the last 6 years combined,” says Payne. “This will give our student performers more confidence, and is another tool in our belt for continued improvement.”

This tight-knit community of students within our school is what defines our Marching Band as not just a talented group of kids, but as a family.

“The best part is the time spent with the students and their families on competition days,” says Payne. “As a teacher, it’s awesome to be able to build relationships in the community and get to know the families really well.”

Mr. Payne has had a variety of students in band who have improved the GRC Marching Band over the years to reach their level of excellence they claim now.

“For the first time in a decade, we can truly say we are competing for a state championship,” says Payne. “We have rebuilt the program, and we are ready for our time in the spotlight.”

View our Smoke Signals band video here.