A New Face in the Marching Warriors


The previous season of the Granite City Marching Warriors was a success. Their show XMachina won many titles including a Grand Champion and another state competition victory. Although this might not be new for the Marching Warriors, one aspect of the season was. It was the first year with their new assistant band director, Ms. Brockman. 

Brockman’s high school band experience was a little different than the students here at GCHS. Rather than the 120+ students currently in our band program, only a little over 70 students her senior year were involved in the “Pride of the Green Wave” marching band. She described the program as less competitive, but more laid-back. When asked about her former band director, Brockman stated, “If there was one phrase I could use to describe him, it would be something along the lines of Oh my god, this guy loves his job. Once you joined band your freshman year, you were hooked. You could not leave.” 

As the stereotypical “smart kid”, many, including her own parents, were expecting her to become a lawyer or a doctor, but this was not her passion. After much deliberation and doubt, she decided to attend EIU to become a band director, where she would later become head drum major of their program. Now, she believes that it was destined to be. “In sixth grade we wrote letters to our future selves. As soon as I opened the letter, the first lines said ‘I hope you didn’t get into drugs or anything because I worked too hard to get to this point. My future goals are to attend EIU and become a band director.’ Looks like sixth grade me manifested this years before I knew what I wanted to do.”

When asked about why she chose Granite City to teach at, she told a story of the first time she watched the 2013 Marching Warriors show titled “Rock Royalty” in Effingham, IL. “Even when interacting with the band students from Granite City throughout the years, they weren’t only good musicians, but great people as well”, Brockman claimed. “The social media pages here were also very much about showcasing the students and their accomplishments, rather than bragging about the new things they have and all the different bands they have.”     

      Brockman described her teaching experience so far as almost a “culture shock.”  She claimed that she didn’t really know what to expect, due to her student teaching era being during the COVID-19 pandemic. “When I was in high school, if you asked us what awards we won, nobody would have a clue. Here, y’all are able to look back in time and know exactly what time you performed, what place you got, how many sets there were, and how many people were in the show. Some of you guys are competitive animals.” 

Moving forward, Brockman has many goals. One of the top priorities being continuing the tradition and reputation we have built here in Granite City. She would like to see kids in the band programs continue to improve not only as musicians, but as people as well. ¨I would also love to get more performance opportunities including the community. Which we are currently working on doing.” To conclude the interview Brockman said, “The biggest thing I want is people to continue to play their instruments, people might get burnt out, but there are still always options to continue with music.¨