Greenwood Marching Band Talks About Their Return Season


By Tyler Porter, Reporter

While we were lucky enough to attend athletic events in the past year, like the basketball and football games, there was always something missing without the Greenwood Marching Band there. This year, the band makes its triumphant return not only to pep band games but also to the marching band contests they compete in.


The band started their work on this year’s show titled, “Scheherazade,” in mid-July. These summer practices are known to many as band camp, and they often run from the early morning into the evening, giving the 53 marchers almost 10 hours of music, marching, and fun with their friends. This year, the band had nine days of camp spread out over three weeks. 


“[I enjoyed] seeing everyone again,” said Junior marcher Isaiah Serrano. “ Last year, we knew the band was going to be a quarter of a size at best, but this year, we knew it would be better, and it has been.” Last year’s show, titled Caravan, was only performed once for an exclusive Gator crowd. The Gators have a lot more opportunities to work on their music this year. “There’s more of a sound, there’s more energy, there’s more potential than there has been in a while,” Serrano continued. While Serrano was optimistic, not all the marchers were as thrilled about this year’s band camp.


“It wasn’t as fun as I remember it, but I think that’s because it was split up,” Senior marcher Kaylee Brannon recalled. “This band camp was three weeks, two days in the first two weeks, and then a full last week. I think this hurt the band because, in 2019, we got a lot done at band camp, but with it being split up, you could tell the difference between VR (the 2019 show) and now.” The band now practices during the week after school.

The marching band practices are around two to three hours each, Serrano shared. “You’re out on the field almost the whole time, out there playing. You’re experiencing the heat, the rain, all the elements,” he said. 


Within the Greenwood community, The band can most commonly be found at its pep band games, which fall on the varsity football and basketball games. “I’m excited, the pep band is probably my favorite part of the band,” Serrano said. “I’m a Tuba player, and I’m the bottom (the lowest sound) of the band, so 80% of my notes are usually whole notes. For pep band, you get some pretty fun music. Songs that you don’t have to be afraid to blast (play too loud) and have fun.” Some of the favorite pep band songs among band members include arrangements of Outkast’s Hey Ya, War’s Low Rider, and The Bar-Kays’ Soul Finger. 


Gators Chloe Packard and Isaiah Serrano both got an opportunity to be section leaders this year. The section leader is in charge of managing all of the musicians within their instruments or groups of instruments. Packard leads the trumpet section and Serrano leads the low brass section, among other leaders.


“I want to go into education, so this helps me prepare for that,” Packard stated. “I really like leading people and want to be a drum major next year. I was very welcomed my freshman year and want [the same thing for the new marchers].” 


“It’s a new experience; I don’t feel like an upperclassman, but I guess I am,” Serrano shared. “Even this year, when people ask my grade, I say I’m a freshman, then I remember, ‘No, I’m a Junior. I’m a leader now.’”


The drum major is the student leader of the band in charge of conducting the entire ensemble and being a leader for each and every person. This year’s head drum major is Senior Kamryn Lin. Lin is a former member of the percussion section and has looked forward to an opportunity like this for a while.


“Every day, I come to practice and am so excited to work with these kids,” said Lin. “I get to help make the new band flourish and I want to see them do well. It’s a lot of fun to be their leader.” Lin attributes much of his success to the leaders that came before him. “I was able to watch other leaders do great and fail at the same time and I learned from their failure and their achievements to make myself a better leader.” 


The Greenwood Marching Band will, unfortunately, be saying goodbye to a few senior members who hope to have left a big impact on those around them as they move onto the next chapter of their life. Drum Major Lin wishes that all of the other members of the band, “have fun. I wouldn’t be doing band if I wasn’t having fun.” Senior Brannon wants, “…confidence and energy to come back to the band.” She hopes for future leaders to bring this back.


So far this year, the Greenwood Band has been very successful, placing first in the 3A class competitions at the Russellville Show of Bands and at the Dragon Class at Warren Central. The Gators won best Color Guard and percussion at both of these competitions. At Warren East’s Raider Classic, the Gators placed second in Class 3A.