Imagine The Warriors

This past season for the Granite City Marching Warriors was superb to say the least. Now that the school year is ending, the push for another excellent year of marching is being set into motion. With an ambitious show, Imagine, the GCHS Marching Warriors are shifting styles and shooting for a brighter tone, contrasting from shows of years before with a darker nature like Cross the Line, or Through the Woods. Imagine comes from the view of a child’s imagination, including bikes, moving streetlamps and the like. Many music excerpts in the show come from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and even John Lennon’s Imagine. With all the new additions to this year’s marching season, the marching warriors will have to adjust the way they train and learn the curriculum, but what will the new material entail.

as the band program grows we have to raise the level to accommodate the size and competitiveness of the band”

— Wyatt Roberds

Firstly, the audition process to join the varsity band has changed, the reason for this being that, “as the band program grows we have to raise the level to accommodate the size and competitiveness of the band,” as stated by Wyatt Roberds, head band director at GCHS. Before, you only had to march and play the fight song for a panel of staff. Now, because the program has grown so much, the auditions are more difficult by adding the performance of all the major scales to the list of requirements. Another thing that was affected by the fast growing number of students was what is covered in the junior varsity band. Before, the JV band would march in parades and play at football games but not perform the marching show. Now, because of a shortage of uniforms and staff the JV band will be performing concert music all year long and will not march whatsoever. They will have their own concerts during marching season like during concert season.

Going along with all of the new revisions for the JV band, many students will now be in the Varsity band in the Fall. For individuals who did get into the band, there will be many more physical requirements to be able to get a permanent spot in the marching show. These will include running the mile in under 10 minutes, being able to play all of their show music as well as major scales, and ILMEA etudes for the spring, on an online program correctly, and of course meeting marching standards. Other things that will play into whether or not people get permanent spots will be attendance and overall attitude/willingness to participate. With all of these new expectations we asked Mr. Roberds and Mr. Palmer, band directors at GCHS how they thought these new adjustments will affect the program.  Josh Palmer, assistant band director at gchs said,“I think by expecting more from the students that they will rise to the occasion, it will produce a better product.” “Well, as the band program grows we have to raise the level to accommodate the size and competitiveness of the band,”

With all of the new adjustments there is also a higher standard for student leadership in the band, before they were only responsible for making sure that their section mates could march and play the show music correctly. This year they will also be responsible for their people’s physical condition as far as the mile goes, having to hold many more practices outside of full band rehearsals. This year will be different, it will be more difficult it some ways, but the Marching Warriors are no stranger to hard work, dedication, focus, and resilience.