Marching band keeps the beat

As the clock winds down during the first half of a Wapakoneta High School football game a group of over 100 students is preparing to take the field for a performance of their own.
That’s right, the WHS band performs at every home and away football game and helps to keep the party going through halftime.
What does it take for these young musicians to step out on the field every week and perform for such large crowds?
Well, it takes a lot of work, dedication, practice and do-overs to get the shows to the best standard they can be.
According to WHS Band Director Klayton Hilleary the work the band puts in day in and day out is challenging, even more so once school starts.
“Band camp is the absolute only time we have every kid at every rehearsal,” Hilleary said. “Band camp is the only time when we get everything on the field, we get everyone familiarized with everything, we get it engrained in them as much as possible and then the whole rest of the season is juggling the shows. We do five different shows.”
Throughout the season the band will perform five different shows, and a lot of work goes into making sure each performance is top notch. In order to accomplish that, HIlleary compares the work the directors and the band members do to cooking a nice meal.
“It’s kind of like cooking a meal. You’ve got some things that are going to take five minutes to cook and then you have other things that are going to take three hours to cook, so what you have to do is you have to plan all of these things so it’s all done at the time,” Hilleary said. “That’s kind of what our whole marching season is like. That’s probably the best way to put it right there.”
One thing members in the band can agree upon is the appeal of the exciting rush that is felt while performing for a crowd.
“I think what I’m most looking forward to this week is the adrenaline we’re all going to have in the beginning,” Junior Tyler Nowicki said Wednesday. “We just get done and it seems to be incredible that we accomplished everything. For the past couple months we’ve been practicing in the hot sun. It’s just going to feel really good.”