By: Timothy Rodriquez
The Leesburg Swarm of Sound starts off strong with a new group of students just five days after school ends the previous year with a summer band camp. The first meeting they had was the beginning of something amazing, as band director Gabriel Fielder stated, "I saw a lot of potential for success."
The first few days were the freshman's introduction to proper marching techniques, which they excelled in, learning how to march and adjust to attention swiftly and snappily. The next week was the introduction of marching on a field. In order to be a great marching band, there needs to be dedication and work put into it, and that is exactly what happened.
With days being as long as 12 hours, there was a vast amount of dedication to this marching band. Drills included: marching across an entire football field in patterns of turns and twists that would make the average person cringe at the flexibly and agility needed to sustain the pattern at full attention (instruments up), extreme heat endurance, mandatory music memorization, and last of all, safety, meaning that nobody gets hurt or injured whilst marching with an instrument near their face.
The pregame show is played prior to the start of the football game and consists of The National Anthem, blown away by the lead trumpet player Jeremy Bobo, and The Leesburg High School Fight Song (On Wisconsin!), Jacket Spellout, and FOX NFL Football. After the pregame show, the band retires to the stands to play stand tunes, which are exactly what they sound like, fun tunes that excite the fans and motivate the team. They may also be for the opposing team, to throw them off with a loud, defensive song. Some of the more played stand tunes are: The Fight Song (On Wisconsin!), Flag, Chomp Segue, Uptown Funk, And Then What, Still Fly, Seminole Uprising, Talking' Out the Side of Your Neck, and Time Warp.
There's no doubt about the anticipation of the halftime show of any football game, but the Leesburg Swarm of Sound takes the field with triumphant encouragement as they preform Malaga, and Malaguena. The stakes are high as the crowd is expecting an outstanding performance. After halftime, the band exits the field and travels back to the stands for more stand tunes, as the game is only halfway through.
The rest of the game is mostly composed of more fun tunes to keep the energy high as the night goes on. Madalynn Shott wasn't confident at first, now she felt that she's improved from band camp so far by "Playing and marching, not really at the same time, but it's getting better."
At an away game, the band is playing stand tunes. The first football game of the season was an away game, where Chrislynn Samuelson had an offsetting time when explaining how her first football game went, "It was pretty okay, other than getting hit in the head with instruments." As the Leesburg Swarm of Sound winds down the night again in the band room, Nephtali Jimenez expresses his enthusiasm for music, "My enthusiasm over all types of music has gotten way better and made my playing more interesting." To be a proper Swarm of Sound Band member, they must all abide by the principles and definition of STING; the upholding guidelines of a band member: Style, Tenacity, Integrity, Nobility, and Growth, five key points which expands the ability to be a better band member and band program as a whole.