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The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

Bulldog Marching Band seeks to improve teamwork

During their fall band camp on Sat. Sep. 9, the marching band learns their drill for the third movement of their show.

To amp up their preparations for this year’s marching season and the performances of their show “The Pale Blue Eye,” the Burke Marching Band has given parts of their routine a makeover.

“Since we’re so young, lots of freshmen and sophomores, we struggle with focus a lot,” instrumental music director Kyle Brubaker said. “So that is why we’ve changed things, especially the past couple of weeks to create a routine where we can flip the switch.”

Their show “The Pale Blue Eye” contains music from “Corsican Litany” by Vaclav, “My Immortal” by Evanescence, and “Dies Irae” from Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem. They have rehearsal once a week on Mon. evenings where they learn their drill and put their show together on the field. The band has seen huge amounts of progress with learning their drill for the show during rehearsals and their Fall Band Camp.

“We are literally two sets away from finishing the show which even though last night that was supposed to be the goal, I still feel like that’s good progress,” senior David Garcia said.

However, many members of the band and their staff have noticed that the band’s struggle with focus has affected their participation and how much they get done during class and rehearsals. The band tends to get chatty and easily distracted during their rehearsals which starts to set them back.

“Well, I noticed a lot that the band kind of just sits idle when we’re doing class things, participation typically isn’t prime from general members,” Garcia said.

Although, the band has been doing mindfulness moments to try to center the band’s focus and energy to try and make rehearsals more productive.

“We’re doing those meta moments, those mindfulness moments before we leave the room or before we start class,” Brubaker said. “And then we’ve started the habit of once we cross the threshold of the field, we’re going to flip the switch into ‘get stuff done’ mode and I think we’re starting to see some results with that.”

In addition to these mindfulness moments, the band got a new workout routine. A member of the company Marching Health taught them a new workout routine that they do at the beginning of their rehearsals before starting the things they need to do.

“I’ve noticed a dramatic uptick in people who are able to participate more frequently,” Brubaker said. “There have been less people who have had to sit out because we are training our bodies to do it.”

Another thing that has got some changes throughout the past couple years is the culture of the band. The culture of the band had started out fractured, but it has begun to start piecing itself back together.

“It had been a really broken and fractured and toxic culture, especially my sophomore year, coming back from a year of Covid, where people missed a marching season and people were really anxious to get back and going,” Garcia said. “Coming into senior year, I feel like it’s definitely spread out. I feel like people are more willing and determined to work hard and people are calling each other out on any ‘bad human things.’”

The band has created the feeling of a family, and everyone has been trying to maintain it since, including the leadership team who has that as one of their tasks this year.

“One of the things that we’ve charged leadership with and their tasks this year is to help maintain that feeling of a family,” Brubaker said. “We remind them to do some bonding activities from time to time, so just doing social questions, social binding time, things like that to help create that family feeling.”

The band has made a strong bond to the point where they know each other really well. This bond has helped them work together better and will help them to encourage each other throughout their season.

“We love each other very much in a platonic way,” Garcia said. “It may be very cheesy and cliché, but it’s true for a lot of us. We come here and this is where we spend most of our time, and it’s a very safe space for all of us because that’s just the culture that we’ve built.”


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About the Contributor
Valerie King, Reporter
Sophomore Valerie King is excited about her first year on the newspaper staff. In school she also participates in marching band as a clarinet player. Her word of the year is pride.

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