FHN Marching Band Hosts a Middle School Band Night


Credit to Jordan Milewczik

Middle school students from Barnwell and Hollenbeck Middle School joined FHN's Marching Band at the football game against FZW on Sept. 8.

By Sophia Schmidt

On Friday, Sept. 8, the FHN Knights played against the FZW Jaguars. There to support them was the FHN marching band, along with 48 middle-schoolers also in their school’s respective band programs from Barnwell and Hollenbeck Middle School. The middle-schoolers watched as the marching band played from their new show, “Jump!” during the game’s halftime show. The crowds cheered and clapped when the middle-schoolers as a whole were introduced before the show started down onto the FHN football field.

“We started practice at four today for the game tonight,” band crew leader and junior Zion Perry said. “There’s four movements of songs to play for the halftime show, along with 10-12 pepping tunes we play during the game.”

The Barnwell and Hollenbeck middle-schoolers arrived after 5:30 p.m, shortly after the band had packed up their practice, and headed into the band room to start preparing for their arrival. During the time between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m, when the band as a whole brings their instruments onto the field, the middle-schoolers were able to talk and visit with the high-school band members, to get a feel for the experience of being in marching band at FHN.

“We start practicing in May,” Director of Bands, Rob Stegeman said. “Two times a week until June and July, where we do four weeks total of camps. Then, we practice every day after school except Wednesdays.”

Middle-schoolers were able to hear how that affects the students involved in marching band now, and how it has given them a strong talent and a focus for their four years in high-school.

“There’s long practices, but it helps,” Cole Hayse, a snare drum player and junior said. “I’ve gained a lot of experience here. I hope the middle schoolers get to see that.”

Before the band packed up to go onto the bleachers for the 7:00 p.m. game, the members of the pit took the middle-schoolers who also play in the pit into the Commons. The middle-schoolers stood against a wall in the commons, with the high-schoolers sitting across from them. The high-schoolers asked each individual, that was against the wall, what their name is and what instrument they play. The band members then clapped and cheered for them afterwards in a flurry of support for what the younger band members do. After, as a tradition of band students, they created a circle with the middle-schoolers in it and started yelling a cheer and jumped to the beat. Then they paraded down the halls, while playing their instruments, back into the band room. During the game later on, middle-schoolers were able to be present as the band did their show “Jump!”.

“We play things like ‘Light ‘Em Up’, ‘ACDC’ and ‘It’s Going Down For Real’,” Stegeman says. “I love everything about it [tonight]. Except the paperwork.”