Marching Crusaders

Crusader Marching band practices on the field. They put in long evening hours.

Crusader Marching band practices on the field. They put in long evening hours.

Cordero MacNear ’14

Entertainment Editor

The school year starts early for student-athletes of the fall season. Football is a highly anticipated sport for the beginning of the year, and part of home football game is the marching band’s performance during half time.

There is more to the half time performance of the Marching Crusaders than what fans see on the field; they put in time from in the summer, just like other fall athletes and also compete on weekends throughout the fall.

Competitive marching band is when bands perform a show for the purpose of entertainment. They are judged on criteria such as musicality, uniformity, visual impact, artistic interpretation, and difficulty of the music and drill. The music for competitive marching band is usually

cryptic, but not similar to orchestral music.

The Marching Crusaders have strived tremendously since 2012’s show “It’s About Time.” This year’s theme is “Can you see what I see?” The performance has three short pieces of music named “Darkness,” ” Transformation” and “Light.”


The three pieces create a characteristic sound to blindness, dyslexia and synesthesia, which is a sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain color.

“Some of our staff and students are dyslexic or synesthetic, so we thought this theme would be fitting,” band director Daniel Griffith said.

Michael Emschwiller, band para-pro and chamber music director, is synesthetic and enjoys helping the students in marching band to learn the music.

“It [synesthesia] allows me to associate colors with chords and music,” Emschwiller said. “I hear colors. I see different colors with different types of chords. I love music, yet it can also be overwhelming.”

During the performance, the Marching Crusaders create many figures that are viewable from high in the stands over an approximate seven-minute time frame. In seven minutes, the Marching Crusaders bring on several music hits and features that will leave the audience in awe.

“More so than the show, the expectations are higher and the difficulty is higher,” instructor Sean Plourde said.

Plourde, along with instructor Scott Rundle and Anthony Flores, collaborated on creating Tendu dancing during the show. The uniforms for this year’s show have been changed to fit the theme and several other features will be added throughout the season. Only time will tell when everything for the show will be completed and finalized.

Band students are required to attend practice for three hours on Monday and Wednesday evenings plus a few hours before competitions on Saturdays. Marching band is a huge commitment. While only getting in about 12 hours of practice a week, professionals and college-level marching bands may practice up to 12 hours a day.

Although band members learned most of the music during band camp in August, marchers are expected to learn the rest before it is performed at a show and have regular sectionals, or meetings with his or her instrument group for practice.

Plourde explained that dodging through adversity is key for a marching band.

“[It is the…] only activity where there are over 100 people who are going after the same goal to entertain the community,” Plourde said. “We have an incredible group of marchers who come together to make a great experience.”

The show this year is exciting for many, including former marcher, senior Logan Tanner, who is somewhat saddened about not participating in this year’s marching show.

Senior Drum Major Ryan Adams also said that he is very excited for this year’s show, considering the positivity and the amount of success that has been accomplished so early in the season. It is incomparable to the past three seasons, he said.

“I really think the concept of our music and drill is incredible,” Griffith said.

Alongside Griffith, the instructors, band boosters and the Marching Crusaders are looking forward to giving Crusader Nation one heck of a show.