By Kaylee Lindenmuth | firstname.lastname@example.org
FOUNTAIN SPRINGS - As summer winds down and a new school year approaches, when you think of school activities winding up, you probably think of high school football and their summer camps. What also may come to mind is the physicality of that sport and the drills done to prepare.
What might slip your mind -- unless you've participated before -- is marching band, their band camp, and the physical aspects of the entire activity.
Recently, North Schuylkill High School's band has been preparing for their 2019 season, which includes around six competitions including their home event on October 19. To help prepare his band for the season, Band Director Bill Lennox enlisted the help of local athletic trainer Ed Pavalko to help get them in shape for the season.
Pavalko led the 75-member "football band" unit, and Lennox, through different physical drills prior to afternoon marching practice Wednesday, including jogs, high knee runs, lunge-walks, and more.
"People don't realize how much energy it takes to finish an entire show. This physical training is to get them in shape, because they're wearing a wool uniform and performing a high-intensity show for seven and a half minutes." said Lennox. "We started last year, and [Pavalko] came twice last year, and we had our best season. This year, I wanted to integrate the process more."
"This is to help them get in shape, so when we get to 7:20 at the end of the show, it still sounds like the first few seconds and not like we just did seven and a half minutes of music"
"This is to help them get in shape, so when we get to 7:20 at the end of the show, it still sounds like the first few seconds and not like we just did seven and a half minutes of music," added Lennox.
Every morning during band camp, the group runs through a similar warm-up routine as they did Wednesday, prior to practicing marching essentials and the field show itself.
"My function here is to give the students a routine that they can work through, and that will meet what Mr. Lennox's goals are. He wants them to be able to get through a performance, so I want to provide some sort of program that will allow them to work harder than their used to and get them over that edge so they can do it," said Pavalko.
"All major programs outside of Pennsylvania, like in Texas and Utah, do this type of training, and even the top drum and bugle corps have physical trainers on staff who's main goal is to get people in shape to do this type of performing," Lennox said. "They're not running out on the field and getting hit, but more like playing hits on instruments."
This year, the Spartans will perform a show entitled "the Tortoise and the Hare," which will tell the fable using folk music, Lennox said.
Regarding the outlook for the 2019 season, Lennox said this season "looks to be our best season so far."
"We brought on Justene Frushom, who marched with the Bluecoats [Drum and Bugle Corps,] has drum corps experience, and worked with Blue Mountain when they won a bunch of championships. It's going to be super exciting to get through this season," said Lennox. "A third of our band is brand new this year, so I want them all to have solid fundamentals because I truly believe we can be the center of what bands should be in our area, so I'd like to raise that standard for everybody, this way we can bring everybody up with us."
Both Lennox and Pavalko noted how they feel the hard work put in by members of local high school bands is often overshadowed by football and other activities.
"It's super exciting to have people come out and cover band. People often don't realize what we have to do," Lennox concluded.
2019-2020 Band Officers
Competition Band Drum Major: Kris Fetterman
Football Band Drum Major: Sarah Campbell
President: Jake Hepler
Vice President: Zach Piampi
Secretary: Brooke Powis
Treasurer: Kris Fetterman
Historian: Eden Frantz
Librarians: Regan Campbell and Caileigh Kaminski
Flute Section Leaders: Jade Clews and Paige Keninitz
Clarinet Section Leaders: Kris Fetterman and Lindsay Griffin
Saxophone Section Leaders: Cori McCormick and Emily Schrag
High Brass Section Leaders: Jake Hepler and Zach Piampi
Low Brass Section Leaders: Eden Frantz and Sarah Campbell
Percussion Section Leaders: Kaitlyn Searfoss and Jonathan Hinderliter
Guard Section Leaders: Elaina Bartusik and Nevaida Rau
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