Spotlight: Granada Band Program

Angus Otte, Reporter

Throughout Granada there are programs everywhere like the Athletic Program or the Academic Program such as AP, MYP, Honors, and IB, but there is also the Music Program. Today, this article will be focused on the Band Program, led by George Pascoe, and what their first trimester or the Fall Season looks like.

The Band Program is a home for brass, woodwind, percussional players, and new to this year, bass guitar players. Many people of these categories have fun playing Pep tunes, Parade Marching, and hanging out. During the Fall Season, the Band spends most of their time practicing marching out on the track, and typically on Wednesdays, practice Pep Band tunes to play at the football games to bring more excitement and spirit during the games.

Victoria Roa, a incoming freshman of this year, said “I joined band because of the people I could meet and learn how to get better as a musician. I also joined because there is scientific research that says that being able to play an instrument and having the ability to be able to read music results in higher test scores.”

There are some special people within the program known as “Section Leaders” who are in charge of their instrument’s section. These people are: Serena Woodward (Grade 12, Flute Section leader), Shunsuke Sakigami (Grade 12, Clarinet Section leader), Jon Viri (Grade 12, the Saxophone leader), Keagan Ott (Grade 11/High Brass section leader), Joey Gracia (Grade 12, Low Reeds Section Leader) Tomer Kibbar (Grade 12, Low Brass Section Leader), Jason Kruz (Grade 12, Drum Captain), and Sabriena Cullins (Grade 12) and Ness Loch (Grade 11), the Color Guard Captains.

“My job as a section leader is important because I get to help guide and teach how people act or how to march. I also have the job of making sure that the atmosphere is welcoming and not hostile as that’s the last thing you would want in a environment that is so connected as it’s a year round class. Band is great because you can meet new people to connect with that aren’t in the same grade as you.” said Joey Gracia, the Low Reeds Section Leader.

In Parade Marching, a Band needs a leader and that’s where our Drum Majors come into play. Our Drum Major this year is David Sadkowski (Grade 12) and our Assistant Drum Major is Angus Otte (Grade 11). The Drum Majors role in the band is a vital part as they run the show during parades and Pep Band Games. During the Football games, the Drum Major will be found at the front of the stands conducting, setting a tempo for the band to follow, and during parades can be found beating time and spinning their baton, providing another visual for the marching band.

David Sadkowski, this year’s Drum Major said, “My responsibility as Drum Major is to lead everyone in football games, parade marching, and as a teacher. I tried out for Assistant Drum Major last fall season and got to share the experience with another person where I learned the ins and outs of conducting, spinning, and most importantly, teaching. This last spring, with my new knowledge, I tried out of for Drum Major. I tried out because I felt confident that I could help others and be a leader I would want to have. I enjoy my job a lot because I can be a leader to others and do what I love and have had an amazing time as Drum Major and I know it’ll only get better.”

For Pep Band, the Drum Majors and Music Council, a group made from all programs, decide what music the band should play before the football games. This season, the Band Program has a variety of 24 different tunes to play to bring spirit and enthusiasm towards our student section, performing teams (Cheer/Dance), and our own football team. The Band even has a song that collaborates with the cheer team and gives them time to show off choreography created and designed around the song “Crazy In Love” by Beyoncé.

During the Fall Marching Season, the Band program usually spends 2-3 days practicing street marching on the track to get their columns or side to sides, files or back to backs, and diagonals in best condition as possible. They also spend time learning and memorizing their March as you’re not allowed to bring any sheet music into a competition. Last years 2021 fall season march was “Emblem of Unity” and this years March is “H.M. Jollies”, an English piece arranged by Kenneth J. Alford in 1929.

A Special tradition that returned this year was Saturday Morning Clean Ups. S.M.C is where after football games, the next morning, an optional event is held where music students help clean up the bleachers and sometimes powerwash the bleachers getting a deeper clean. It’s a great thing to participate in because you can see some friends, make the school look nice, and get some credit for later assignments.

The Band Program is a great atmosphere for anyone who wants to pursue a brass instrument, woodwind instrument, or just wants to bang on some drums. The amount of pep and hype they bring to the table is enormous and could make anyone feel like they are having a great time. The Band Program will always have a special place in Granada’s heart.