Saturday, November 16, 2019
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Mich. band teams up with bandless football team

NPR reports about a high school in Michigan with a football team but no marching band and another high school that just happens to have a marching band.


Band at the National Cherry Blossom Parade, Washington, April 2018

The marching band at Forest Area High School, located in beautiful northern Michigan, approximately 35 minutes southeast of Traverse City, is now going through a season of marching band competitions in a state that has become famous for high-quality college and high school marching bands.

Hannah Spencer, a drum major in the marching band, told NPR host Scott Simon that the band traveled about an hour and a half to Glen Lake High School, which has very few band students—definitely not enough to field a marching band—to perform their competitive show during a Glen Lake football game.

We tip our hats to the students and staff in the marching band at Forest Area for going out of their way to boost the morale and energy of a football team at another high school.

Mr Simon also interviewed Glen Lake football player Ben Kroll, who said the collaboration was an idea Glen Lake’s athletic director had.

“Mr Mattson told us earlier that day that we had a chance of having a band, which we haven’t had in a really long time,” he said. “So for us, this was huge because, personally, me and the football team have always wanted a band.”

Will it last?

“We’re hoping that this band also inspires our … kids in our school to join and stuff because our band … has limited members. So having them come out was such a huge, huge help. And we appreciate it very much.”

What did they play?

Ms Spencer said the band played music from Star Wars and Mohito Yokota’s “Super Mario Galaxy Theme.”

Who won the game?

Glen Lake defeated Gladstone, whose team came down from their home on the Upper Peninsula, 31-7. Mr Kroll credited the band with giving his “team a boost, definitely morally and energy-wise, especially with the crowd.”

But it was also meaningful for the band students.

“It was really awesome,” NPR quoted Ms Spencer as saying. “We’ve never had that much enthusiasm, especially at a football game before. It was amazing.”

Correction: This article was edited on October 21 to reflect the following change: We initially reported that NPR had erred in saying that Forest Area High School had no football team, given that the school’s website had football games scheduled this season. A reader informed us that the information on the school district’s website had not been updated since the football season was cancelled at Forest Area. We regret the error.
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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