While a majority of the school was relaxing over summer break, the Wesleyan Marching Wolves marched onto campus to start learning their new music and routine.
Their season began in late July when the band attended summer band camp at Oglethorpe University. There, they began the long and arduous task of learning their halftime routine. An average day at band camp consisted of “waking up at 7:15, having visual practice until lunch, sectionals until break/dinner, and then full ensemble rehearsal until 9:00 p.m.,” said sophomore Skylar Williams.
At band camp, the band practices roughly eight hours a day. “In the morning, we spend about three hours outside on field working on drills. We learn where to walk and learn new techniques for our routine,” said freshman Eric Berry. After lunch, they spend the afternoons practicing their show music with their different sections, along with help from the expanded instructional staff and different alumni. After dinner and a small break, which gives the band time to bond and relax, they have evening block. Evening block is the two hour period where the entire band gathers to play and march through their new show. They work long and hard to make sure everything is clean and perfected. After evening block, the band usually plays a large group game, which gave everyone a chance to bond and have fun after a hard day of practice.
“A few fun memories I have from band camp this year are going on walks with a group of friends to explore the campus and catch up and talk about our summers. Also, every evening, each section of the band has a different spirit night, so it is always fun going full out at practice in a costume that can sometimes be odd,” said junior Ben Smoke.
This year’s halftime show is called “Dual.” The concept of “Dual” is referring to the concept of duality, which is shown in the different types of music played in the show.
One difference between this year’s show and last year’s is that, “this year’s show is a concept show rather than a narrative. Our show concept shows the existence of old and new things such as types of music, uniforms, technique and even instruments,” said band director Jeff Foster. This year, the band is incorporating different modern styles of music with old classical music, thus making their routine extremely creative and enjoyable for all audiences. “This is way out of my comfort zone, but it is still pretty hype,” said Foster.
Not only is the marching band performing a different style of show, their routine this year is also a lot more difficult. “Last year’s show had 52 coordinates (or movements) on the field for the entire routine. This year, the first two parts of the routine contain 50 coordinates,” said Foster. The difficulty of this routine is very intense; however, the band has worked together so cohesively they have mastered their routine.
Along with mastering a complex routine, the marching band has also taken time to build relationships with one another. “We have an amazing group of people in band. We are growing everyday as a family and our group is very committed to becoming a better ensemble. The effort we have already put in this season is amazing,” said junior Ben Smoke. The band this year does an excellent job of working together as a team, which is very evident in the way that they perform.
“My favorite part about being the director of the band is,” said Foster, “seeing every member of the band take on such tremendous responsibility. It is also cool being on both sides of the program. I spent the first half of my life performing, and now I enjoy watching my students perform even more than I liked performing. It is so cool to be able to completely let go and have no control. It is all them.”