KnightPride Prepares for Upcoming Season


By Leann Smyth

Preparation for next year’s marching season is beginning now. The participating numbers are being estimated above 110 students. Currently, recruiting new members is a big focus in these early stages.

“The process now is to push recruiting for marching band,” Band Director Rob Stegeman said. “I’ll start going down to the middle schools somewhat regularly, so I can get the kids that are interested, their names and their instruments.”

For returning members interested in leadership positions, the annual leadership camp will be held April 7 to 12. Stegeman has been using this program he developed for about 11 years. At the end of the camp, drum majors, section leaders and other positions will be determined by him. The students chosen are models for the majority, providing guidance and mentorship.

“It’s about educating them on a climate of proper leadership,” Stegeman said. “I hope to accomplish and teach everybody about servant leadership. A leader isn’t someone who bosses people around, a leader is someone who sacrifices and has responsibility to help people around them better themselves. If you’re the section leader or drum major, you’re not the first in line to eat, you’re the last in line to eat. You make sure everybody is taken care of before you take care of yourself.”

New and returning members will be attending Commitment Night on May 1. There, new uniforms will be fitted for the coming show, down payments can be made and season calendars will be given out as well as other important information. Each year, uniforms are made to fit the show theme.

This year’s theme ‘Freeze’ was announced at the band’s winter formal. The band hopes to incorporate skills from previous seasons into this show. Being relevant, fun and entertaining, while keeping a competitive edge are some of their main targets for the upcoming season.

“We’ve got a really interesting show theme,” junior and Assistant Drum Major Grace Sickendick said. “Two years ago we did trampolines and last year we were ‘Wired’ and this year it’s going to be different and cool like that, not normal. We’ll have a rap song in there at one point, we’ll have classical music, definitely a wide variety. We’re going to have interesting props that will help with the marching technique. It’ll make a cool visual.”

Starting early is hugely important, according to Stegeman. The early training to master fundamentals is the foundation needed to work on the show.

“The marching band kids understand, number one, how fun and fulfilling [it] can be,” Stegeman said. “It’s not instant gratification. They work for five months to perfect a seven minute show. It’s difficult, there’s a lot of time, there’s a lot of energy, but they know what it feels like to win. Those kids are willing to go above and beyond and work to better themselves.”

With her past experience, Sickendick hopes to become Head Drum Major this year, leading and conducting. She and Stegeman look forward to the fall.

“[New members should] know that it goes by fast,” Sickendick said. “I remember freshman year thinking ‘this is going to take forever,’ but now this is going to be my last season. It’s a blast and you’ll get to know a bunch of people, so just savor every moment of it.”