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The Elizabethtown High School marching band isn’t competing on Saturdays any longer, but they did make the football team dance on the sideline, which is a new measure of success for the revamped program.
As a non-competing marching band, Elizabethtown High School shows now are a project of personal fulfillment and school pride for the students. Band Director Mark Webster said he is pleased to find his marchers work just as hard for themselves and their fellow students.
“I think the pressure of ‘we have to go and we have to compete’ has been channeled in a different arena,” he said.
Junior Christian Duncan said students have an opportunity to throw in individual twists to their performances, and he finds audiences are enjoying their shows more.
Senior Savannah Drake said she sees her classmates dancing along to their music.
“And I think it’s kind of brought our student body together,” Drake said.
The show they’re currently performing at football games includes 1970s songs such as “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5. Webster said when constructing the show, he wanted it to have a unifying theme as well as appeal to a broad audience.
“We wanted to stop people from going to the concession stand,” he said.
The students will begin to work on another show soon, he said, this one with more of a rock edge.
Marching rehearsals have been reduced, which Duncan said is difficult because the students still are producing a show.
“It’s been more of a challenge,” he said.
Webster agreed, saying he has to be well-prepared in order to use their practice time wisely. But the reduction in practice time allows students to pursue other extracurricular activities or take more difficult classes, Drake said.
The students have stepped up to help with their new schedule, Webster said.
“They’re doing a great job,” he said. “They’re working hard and that’s really important to me.”
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.