ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – Making music, bringing high energy spirit and having fun along the way, that’s the Ishpeming Marching Band way.

“I think it’s just a lot of big energy, excitement and just general happiness in the group,” said Audrey Johnson, freshman, trombone. “It’s very refreshing. I think a lot of different bands are very strict and organized and this one is not if I’m going to be honest. You know what to do when you have to do it.”

This group brings a different level of support to the team and Ishpeming community.

“We definitely bring them all together,” said MaKenzie Baker, freshman, clarinet. “At games and stuff, it’s just really fun to see people join in and dancing when we play and cheer for us and taking pictures. Like, that’s a lot of fun. It definitely brings up the spirit, especially when we’re losing or we’re down or tied or in overtime. I think there was one game when we were in overtime and we played and played. I’ve been going to football games for years and every time, there’s always the band and they just do such a great job and you can definitely see it with the community. It’s just awesome.”

“To the school, for us in general, we’re really strong,” said Angelica Barry, sophomore, flute. “We’re a strong band and we just feel so connected and united especially when we’re all together. For the Ishpeming community, they get to have this band that is prideful and loyal to their school, to the Hematites. Maybe, that’s what Hematites are.”

Uniting the community and uniting as a group with a purpose.

“The people in it, it’s always fun to go to band,” said Grant Salmi, junior, percussion. “I don’t remember a day where I’ve been sad to go to band class or not want to go to band class.”

“You meet a lot of new people in marching band,” said Baker. “You get to help younger kids. You get to hang out with older people who you’d normally never talk to, or never say anything to. I know for me at least, I made a lot more friends in marching band than I have in regular band. It’s just a really good experience that you’ll never forget.”

That’s because it’s the Hematites in this group that make it what it is.

“The positive attitude that comes in with band,” said Johnson. “It’s like there are people who are excited to play, there are people who are excited to talk to each other. It’s just overall people who want to be there and I think that’s a huge thing because if you don’t want to be there then you’re not going to have fun. Also, the people. It wouldn’t be the same without the people there.”