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The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

Marching band takes twist on Twisters

The+marching+band+performs+at+halftime+during+the+football+game+against+Churchill+on+Sept.+14.
Photo by Gurnoor Sodhi
The marching band performs at halftime during the football game against Churchill on Sept. 14.

You are at the edge of your seat, it’s halftime of the football game. Clash! Clash! You see the marching band moving synchronously like ants, creating a symphony mixed with the excitement of the students in the bleachers.

Marching band is an after-school activity and students from orchestra, band and any students who have played an instrument can join. The marching band has seen an increase in freshmen involvement this year. “Everybody who’s a freshman clarinetist, I help them perfect their marching and make sure they’re playing the right notes,” sophomore clarinetist Isabelle Salita said.

On Oct. 14, the marching band performed their 12-minute performance at the Marine Corps Invitational on the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. ”It [the performance] is called Twister and it takes place in Wakita,” senior Captain Colorguard Katherine Chow said.

The performance contains five movements. Movement One is foreshadowing the storm, where the band sets the scene of the town. “Movement two is ominous, but fun. It’s the precursor to it (tornado). We have this whole Western thing,” Chow said.

Movement two is Twist, inspired by the dance Twist from the early 1950s to the early 1960s. The song “Twists” is sung by junior Christian Smithson. “It’s like a brief thing before the tornado hits and the end of movement three and beginning of movement four is the tornado siren,” Chow said.

In Twister, movement four, woodwinds go under a black cloth and become the tornado; brass is sucked into the tornado. The last movement is Over the Rainbow, where the marching band plays the songs “Over the Rainbow” and “Here Comes the Sun.”

Marching band components make the band. Smithson plays low brass in the baritone section. The baritone contains low brass, trumpets, woodwinds, and trombones, being the foundation of the band. “Sometimes we have features. In our show called Slide, it was a trombone. It specializes in them. Sometimes certain shows give a little showcase to some of the underrepresented instruments, but overall we are the foundation of the band,” Smithson said.

There are leaders within the marching band. Senior Andrew Chen is the drum major. “I’m the one that is conducting and who leads practices every day, basically leading the marching band,” Chen said.

Marching band is a performing art, but it is also a sport. Marching band members have to carry large instruments, while “marching on time, and playing in time and making sure you’re together. And this is very physically demanding,” Chow said.

Though marching band is rigorous, Smithson said he loves the community and has close friends in the band. Similarly, Salita intended to go to Quince Orchard and participate in the band there. “I was worried that I was not going to make any friends. I was like ‘This is very stressful.’ Coming to a new school, not knowing anybody. And then everybody in the marching band was so welcoming,” Salita said.

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About the Contributor
Rudy Essiomle, opinion editor
Senior Rudy Essiomle is an opinion editor in her second year on the Common Sense staff. In her free time, she likes to paint, bake pastries, and watch cooking shows and films.
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