While most know the month of October to be the start of fall and all things spooky, members of the Fountain Hills High School marching band know that, for them, October is the month of all things band.
Lovingly referred to as “Bandtober,” this month marks the majority of the marching band’s competitions and ends with the marching semi-finial competition.
Hoping to duplicate last year’s success, the returning state champions are under the guidance of a new drum major and have a new classic rock show that’ll be sure to leave audiences whistling.
When FHHS band director Lynn Truby was choosing this season’s show she kept one fact in mind, that 40 percent of her band would be freshmen.
“I thought the thing you have to do is you have to hook the kids, you have to inspire them to aspire,” Truby said. “It’s hot, most of them are still learning their instruments coming in because middle school is very different. Now they’re expected to play and move around while wearing heavy uniforms and doing multiple things at once. They have to be able to enjoy it, so I wanted them to really like the music.”
Truby knew there would be a fine line between the pop music that would score low and the classic pop that they could do well with.
“The Beatles show came to mind right away because the Beatles have such amazing melodies,” Truby said. “For me, personally, that is my current beef with the marching band scene, that there are no melodies in the music anymore.”
The band has made a few changes to the old show, overhauling a lot of the visuals and cutting the run time from 11 minutes to a crisp seven.
Along with ushering in and teaching a new class, Truby has also been making sure the players keep the pressure off themselves.
“I told them there is no preconceived notion on my part of where we are going to get this year,” Truby said. “As always, we just keep our heads down, we get our work done and we try to put on the best show that we can.”
New drum major
In her freshman year in the marching band, Sophie Boeshans never imagined that she would be the drum major in her senior year.
“I barely even knew how to play my instrument,” Boeshans laughed. “Last year I was section leader and I was nervous about that; I’m just really nervous. But I knew I was going to regret it if I didn’t try for drum major.”
Boeshans auditioned against four of her peers for the position and was selected by her peers.
“We had to write an essay and then we had songs to conduct,” Boeshans said. “The band votes for the drum major, so they voted for me, which is a good feeling knowing they chose me.”
After being tapped for the role, Boeshans got to travel to Colorado and become certified as a drum major.
Boeshans is a self-confessed introvert but she loves representing her band.
“They make it easy, the band is like my family,” Boeshans said. “Being the head of the band is really cool because I love all of them and I know they have my back.”
The band will perform at Northern Arizona University for Band Day on Oct. 18.