Marching into a New Season

What the Band is Doing to Prepare for the Year

Hannah Dollar

July 29th,  the start of yet another ambitious marching band season. The band has been hard at work well before school started, and they are ready for another successful year. 

“We sort of have this mantra,” College Park Band Director Jeffrey Gorring said. “In order to be successful, you’ve got to be better today than you were yesterday. And so I think just from a very basic standpoint, being better this year than we were last year. Whatever that means. I think that that’s the direction that we want to go,”  

335 students gathered in a vacant parking lot, eager to kick off the year with their first marching band practice. While some dreaded the long weeks ahead, filled with drills and exercises, they knew that this was all due process to have another outstanding year. For the next week, the marching band would practice every day from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In those nine hours, they would go through various drills to get them ready for performances, as well as grow and strengthen bonds with the people that surround them. Starting their second week of summer camp, their days would regress to five hour days, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

“There is a noticeable difference in our performance considering we already have a lot of our show memorized and drill learned,” Junior trombone player Sara Hensley said. “It’s always best to keep a positive attitude during practice. Are practices sometimes long and hard? Yes, but if you get down in the slumps it’s just going to make everything worse,” 

There are many things to look forward to this year for the marching band as there is a new design team, program coordinator, and drill designer all contributing to a fresh look, sound, and performance. The band has acclimated quite well to their growing numbers, by providing each section with the time, information, and tools they need to be successful. Without this expertise and ability to become accustomed to change, the band would not show the type of achievement that they do every year.

“This is the largest our program has ever been,” Gorring said. “This is the second year in a row that we have had over a hundred eighth graders join our band program, which is pretty cool. And we have got every version of band kid. We have athletes and we have science academy and we have just strictly band kids. We also have orchestra kids and choir kids. And so we try to do our best to accommodate everybody. And I think with the way the program is growing and the retention that we’re having, things are going pretty great.” 

Now that the school year has started, the marching band is preparing more than ever for their first performances. There are many new things to come for this large organization and the school is excited to see what they will orchestrate next. 

“Playing at our first football game was so exciting finally being able to show off the hard work we have been doing since summer is well worth the time spent practicing, “ Sophomore percussion player Sebastian Witteveld said. “The band is absolutely amazing this year, from the work ethic to what we produce. I can’t wait to see how we continue the show.” 


Hannah Vollmer
Marching Band members hard at work during summer camp.