With trumpets as cowboys, tubas as gangsters, and the flutes as characters from the “Wizard of Oz,” the ELHS marching band’s annual Halloween excursion to district elementary schools was a day of costumes, squealing children, and braving the dropping temperatures during outdoor performances.
“Anytime you take students out of school, missing all of their other classes, it needs to be significant,” said band director David Larzelere. “It’s a valuable trip, and a lot of students that are in marching band now reference this trip as what got them interested in our program when they were elementary students.”
At the elementary buildings, the marching band performs the fight songs, Trojan Fanfare, and the halftime selection with brief explanation of each instrument and section of the band, with a goal of interesting fifth graders in marching band after they start their musical career in orchestra, choir, or band at MacDonald Middle School.
“This year was a little unusual with four buses and a trailer, and we used to be able to fit the whole band into two buses, and go into the school’s gym if it was too cold and that’s not the case anymore as the band continues to grow,” commented Larzelere. As the number of students continue to increase, coordinating the transportation of the marching band and all of its equipment requires more preparation, adjustments, and money.
Larzelere says the change will be made day by day. “Although the experience of this trip is going to evolve in the coming years, the idea of the day being a fun reward after the season and a making an impression of the marching band for the kids at the elementary school is going to continue.”
According to Larzelere, the trip was a success and received great feedback from the administration. “The marching band’s Halloween tour is one of three recruitment opportunities each year. A presentation at the middle school’s fall concert and the inclusion of middle school students in a pregame perform and eighth grade concert is our most significant recruiting event because it allows for a more direct connection for the eighth grade students who will be the members of the marching band next year.”
With the marching band’s season officially over, Larzelere says “the season has gone really well and they’re a great bunch of students. It’s been really enjoyable and challenging having more students in the band, but by in large it’s been a great step forward for us and we can keep the momentum we’ve had this year to keep it going for the future.”