MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WJMN) – They’re small, but mighty.
“We are very small so we do have to work with a small group of people trying to make these shapes on the field which can be difficult at times, but we always make it,” said senior drum major of the Manistique Marching Band, Piper Morrison. “We have a very tight-knit group of people so we’re all very close with each other. We’re all able to help out each other, we all know what’s going on so it’s very nice to have those connections.”
“My favorite part, I would say I love being with the people,” said junior trombonist, Mikayla Aldrich. “I love the community in this high school band. All of my friends I made along the way has really helped me be a better person and I love the opportunity to play for people. Play songs that I love, learn new songs that I learn to love.”
Size means nothing when you bleed emerald.
“Everyone is clapping and cheering along,” said sophomore trumpeter, Bayleigh Buttermore. “It brings so much spirit. Everybody’s laughing, they’re having more fun when we’re there. They enjoy to see us.”
Sometimes you’re the only person in one section.
“In marching band, yes, we have to play extremely loud,” said Buttermore. “Sometimes I’m like, ‘Oh God, did I play that loud enough? Did they hear me?’ Because I’m mostly the melody. Thank God, people in the audience who are there come up to me and have been, ‘Even though there’s one of you, you’re really loud!'”
Or, you have to improvise a little.
“With us being a smaller band and everything like that, it is a little bit more of a struggle to learn the parts to be able to cover them all and to be able to cover every base.,” said Jeffery Rice, senior clarinet player. “Certain instruments have to learn how to play music that necessarily wasn’t written for their instrument. We see that with different instruments such as the clarinet may play trumpet parts or certain trumpets may play clarinet parts. They are written in the same key and even at times. Like I, myself have learned how to play music in a different key than what my instrument was written for to be able to cover different spots.”
It’s worth it when you see the work these students put out on the field.
“We do, do the band camp before school starts so we do have to do that a little bit of outside of your own time zone to get started,” said Aldrich. “Get all the freshmen and new people learning how to do marching in the first place and usually, we try to do that for the seventh and eighth graders before they start high school band.”
“We have to do this basically every day whenever we have a nice day, we’re usually outside because we need all of that time that we have to learn and practice and practice and practice these songs over and over again so we can get them very well done for these football games that we do,” said Morrison. “We work through the hour. We usually do warmups at the very beginning and then we go straight outside to the field and start right away until near the very end of the hour.”
It’s a group inclusive for all.
“We actually have a legally blind student in our band,” said Aldrich. “It makes the marching process on the field more unique because they aren’t doing so many formations, they’re mainly standing still but they march onto the field with us and we incorporate them into our marching and it’s actually a very beautiful thing to be able to do. They don’t use any notes. They just learn by ear and it mixes right in with our music and it’s perfect.”