It’s difficult to march in the summer heat. It’s even harder to do so while holding up 30 pounds of brass.
The Morris High School marching band camp is underway in the student parking lot at Morris Community High School.
This year, director Brock Feece will lead the band in performing “In The Center Ring,” a show that pays homage to circus performances.
Decked out in a “Superwoman” costume and hoisting his tuba on his shoulder, MCHS senior Joeseph Mullaney said the band has a lot of energy and excitement this year.
“It’s a lot better than I thought it would be,” Mullaney said. “I think everyone has been excited about the music and anticipating putting the show together.”
Mullaney was dressed up for “Superhero Day.” Anja Huettemann, one of three drum majors, said the band has dress-up days to keep students engaged during the hot, nine-hour days. Other themes include “Redskin Pride,” “1980s” and “Meme.”
“The band works really hard on their drills. They get here at eight in the morning and work until five at night,” Huettemann said.
Huettmann and fellow drum majors Caite Gugerty and Kaylee Roether have to be at the field an hour before others at 7 a.m. to begin preparations.
“We do all the behind-the-scenes stuff that everyone takes for granted,” Gugerty said with a laugh.
She and the other drum majors spray markers on the field and set out water for the students.
Mullaney said that although band camp is difficult, all the work will pay off when the season begins in August.
“We wake up early in the morning, bring an obscene amount of water and carry instruments sometimes almost as heavy as us,” Mullaney said. “But we’re making muscle memory. When we get to the performances, we’ll just go into autopilot on the drills and really focus on playing our best.”
Feece said he couldn’t be more excited to start his third year as band director at MCHS.
“I love working here and I feel really excited about this year. I’m more comfortable with the students and the program,” Feece said. “A lot of our success can be attributed to our amazing adult and student leaders.”
Feece said another factor in the band’s great attitude is how marching band is purely extracurricular at MCHS. Students in concert band are not required to participate.
“The students that are out here working are the ones that want to be here. That makes a huge difference,” Feece said.
MCHS Marching Band will perform “In The Center Ring” at home football games as well as three or four marching band competitions.
In 2018, the band’s color guard won first place at a competition. Feece said he believes the band is capable of placing at several competitions this year.
“Some people don’t believe marching band is a sport, but I think it is,” Feece said. “They’re getting out there every day and working just as hard.”