The beat of the Bruin heart

The drummers begin the beat as the band enters the field and begins to march. Flags spin and soar into the air while the members of color guard march in sync. The melody of the marching band echoes through the field while the band, as one, pound their feet on the soft ground. The football game has begun.

Many of us see and hear the marching band and color guard at football games and practices, but few of us understand the spirit behind it, the soul of the group. Hours of preparation go into every performance; how do they prepare?

Color guard and marching band practice together during the summer to be as exceptional as possible for the upcoming season. Preparing for football games is a tough task consisting of a three week camp in August for both color guard and marching band. Staying in sync is the key to success for the color guard and that is their main focus at practices.

“At practice, we stay incorporated with the band and work on things like marching, intervals and posture because we are one band, and we focus on that,” senior Ava Chafin said. “What each one of us does individually affects the group as a whole.”

The captains and leaders also play a large role in the success of the marching band and color guard. Not knowing how to spin the flag a certain way or not knowing some notes is simple to solve with the help of the student leaders. Section leaders help their section with music problems and help them on the field with marching. The color guard captains are role models that the girls in color guard can come to if they need help with a move. Understanding how to lead is only one of the leaders’ jobs. During football games, the section leaders of the marching band go around and make sure everyone in the section is playing in tune.

“The section leaders all have drill charts so we can see how the picture is supposed to look and can adjust people’s positions,” senior Leanne Poussard said. “We march the show with everyone else and maintain our section’s little traditions.”

Because of the hours of time marching band spends with each other, it makes them very close like a family. As with any family, the marching band has traditions.

“We do stick-clicks, which is kind of like high fives with the sticks, right before going up,” String said.

Other sections have different traditions, some stranger than others.

“In our section, we kiss a wooden bird for good luck,” said sophomore Franz Kummerfeldt.

The color guard and marching band put a lot of effort into making our football games happen, and in return have received the greatest gift of all, a special group of friends whose traditions and rituals before the game shape who they are and how they perform.

“The band helps give a unified sound to all the excitement of the game,” junior Sharon Garrot said. “The more times you hear the fight song, the more touchdowns the Bruins have made. It’s fun to play songs in the stands and I love marching at halftime under the lights, in front of the crowd.