Early Prac­tices Start For March­ing Band, Flag Team

Riverbank News - - NEWS - BY RIC McGINNIS

As those lazy, hazy days of sum­mer wind down, fig­u­ra­tively, if not lit­er­ally, ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­ity prior to the open­ing of school has been pick­ing up on the River­bank High School cam­pus.

One crew at the school, how­ever, is new to ‘pre-sea­son’ prepa­ra­tion.

While the first day of the new school year is ap­proach­ing, RHS sports teams and cheer squads have be­gun their reg­u­lar open­ing days of prac­tice. But the March­ing Band has be­gun its first days of prac­tice, ever.

In the past, the school’s mu­sic de­part­ment and its mem­bers mostly have stuck to the grand­stands dur­ing foot­ball games, per­form­ing as a small ‘pep band’ from there. Oc­ca­sion­ally last year, as the sea­son wore on, the pep band and flag team per­formed at half­time from the track, where nor­mally the cheer squad hangs out.

This year, though, Band Di­rec­tor Joey Aguilar prom­ises a more tra­di­tional half­time en­ter­tain­ment pro­gram.

A small pre­view was on dis­play dur­ing last Spring’s band con­cert, when the RHS band showed off its newly ac­quired uni­forms. The next time they’ll be seen will be on the foot­ball field at home games, start­ing later this month.

Aguilar started full re­hearsals in late July, teach­ing band mem­bers how to hold, and play, their in­stru­ments while car­ry­ing out march­ing ma­neu­vers. The group also par­tic­i­pated in an all-out ‘band camp’ in prepa­ra­tion for classes to be­gin on Aug. 8.

Aguilar de­scribed his band camp as the place where the group will learn a field show to per­form at the foot­ball games.

“This year is unique be­cause ev­ery sin­gle stu­dent is new at march­ing band,” Aguilar said.

This week, they were to be prac­tic­ing from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with mu­sic and drill for­ma­tions put on the field as op­posed to the first week of re­hearsals, with move­ment up and down the field be­ing the fo­cus.

“Morn­ings we are out­side, af­ter­noons we are in­side work­ing on mu­sic, evening we put it all to­gether,” he said.

And even though school is start­ing soon, the band will have plenty of time to prac­tice. The first foot­ball game is on Aug. 18, but the first home foot­ball game this sea­son isn’t sched­uled un­til Fri­day, Aug. 31.

RIC MCGINNIS/THE NEWS

The flag team trains with the newly or­ga­nized RHS March­ing Band dur­ing a re­cent prac­tice ses­sion. The de­vel­op­ing group, flags and band, is work­ing to­wards per­for­mances at home foot­ball games this fall.

RIC MCGINNIS/THE NEWS

Mem­bers of the wood­wind sec­tion go through their paces, learn­ing how to play, and march, in for­ma­tion. The River­bank High School March­ing Band is new this year, led by di­rec­tor Joey Aguilar.

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