Preseason warm up

Thursday, August 10, 2017
SHS Band Director Kurt Schwarck leads the SHS marching band during practice on Wednesday. (Photos by Joseph Hopper)

SHS band begins its fall campaign prep

Like many of their classmates who practice for fall sports this week, members of the Spencer High School marching band and its color guard have begun their annual back-to-school preparations, learning both the music and marching drill they will perform as part of its elaborate halftime shows this year.

Sacrificing large parts of their summer vacation either in the band room or on the field, the group hopes to delight audiences with technical marching skills and excellent musicianship.

Sam Vander Vegte (front) and Brandon Nolin (back) practice their parts inside due to the rain during Wednesday’s practice.

“I’m just excited that we’ve got a lot of really good kids here, and we’ve got some really cool things going on, it’s really fun,” SHS Band Director Kurt Schwarck said. “The show is called, ‘The Sound of Simon,’ it features: ‘You Can Call Me Al,’ it’s got ‘The Sound of Silence’ in it, ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ and ‘50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.’ It’s some really cool Paul Simon music. I think the crowd is really going to enjoy this one because it’s all tunes they know. Paul Simon is a great writer.”

In Schwarck’s two decades of directing marching bands and band camp, watching the group of individual musicians come to form a band is always a gratifying experience.

“This is my 22nd year — I believe. It’s been a while,” Schwarck said. “It’s fun to watch students grow as they come together as a group and watch them become more than what they could be separately as a group. We’re better together than we are apart.”

Members of the SHS color guard work on their technique during Wednesday’s band camp.

The band members also share Schwarck’s excitement for this year’s show.

“I’m excited about the new year and the different show that we get to perform,” tuba player Brandon Nolin, said. “It’s always fun to get to perform in the marching band. I really like the music, there’s some really cool bass parts that I can play.”

“I’m excited to help out where I can. The music is definitely going to be plenty of fun,” Darrian Adkins, clarinet player, said. “It’s definitely more fun to practice with other people, you hear the parts and how they fit together.”

Today will mark the band’s fifth day in band camp, where the group will work to perfect their performances in time for the SHS football season which begins in two weeks.

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