|Messenger photo by Dedra Cordle|
Members of the Grove City High School band test their marching knowledge on Rookie Day. In the formation are experienced squad leaders and incoming freshmen who have just started learning the marching fundamentals.
What does it take to be a member of the Grove City High School marching band?
For the upperclassmen, they know it involves hours of practice, dedication and a desire to perfect their talents.
For freshmen, its a learning process.
Since most, if not all, of the incoming freshmen have never marched with their instruments before, the prospect of being involved in an award-winning program can be daunting.
To make the transition easier, the band hosts a Rookie Day for all the freshmen in order to prepare them for the year to come.
“The purpose of Rookie Day is to help the freshmen learn marching skills and also to teach them how to play music while they march, said George Edge, director of bands.
Over the course of two days, the freshmen are taught the glide step, chair step, corner turns, box drills and how to stay in line during parades. They also learn how to do the bands famousAll-Set move and shout-out.
Incoming freshman Zach Haines said Rookie Day has been extremely beneficial to him.
“It really helped me get ready and prepare for what we have to do, said the trumpet player.
Rookie Day is overseen by the watchful eyes of the upperclassmen. The formations were taught by section leaders who know the intricacies of the Grove City marching band. They were professionals who were more than willing to lend a hand and offer words of encouragement when their new band members got frustrated.
“Marching is very hard, very difficult to learn, said senior Cyler McClure.Everyone struggles at first.
He said practice will make the freshmen better, but he already sees a lot of potential in the class.
“They were all great marchers and they will make great additions to the band, McClure said.
The bands first public event, including the unveiling of the freshman class, will be at the June 30 Lincoln Village Parade.
“I told the parents not to look too closely at their feet, said Edge jokingly.Then I promised them that it would get better in case they do.
Later this summer, the band will go through intense preparations for the season at camp in August.
“Theyll be working 40 to 50 hours a week to get ready, said Edge.
Not only will the band members showcase their skills at sporting events, but they were also invited to compete in the 2013 Blue Cross Blue Shield National Band Contest in Tempe, Ariz.
While competing at the event in 2009, the band lost by just a fraction of a point.
“I really hope we win it this year, said junior Hallie Howard.
The Grove City High School marching band is considered to be one of the top performing bands in central Ohio.
Over the years, they have collected 80 grand champion awards; received superior ratings at the Ohio Music Education Association State Marching Band Contest for 38 consecutive years; finished second at the Blue Cross Blue Shield National Band Contest in 2009; and placed first at the Tostitos/Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation Fiesta Bowl Parade that same year.