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“It’s a matter of pride and respect.” Chances are, whether a student in the band or not, everyone has heard this statement at least once. This phrase holds more meaning to the band then most people would think.

Calli Gregory, Photo Editor

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Band kids find themselves working hard to earn the pride and respect that they deserve. As the competition season for the ESHS band has come to a close, students involved in the band program are finally able to catch their breath.

Typical competitions start in the early morning and don’t end until nine at night, on an early night.

“The average [competition] day would be around 13 hours… Some of our earliest competitions have started as early as 5:15 AM,” junior Julia Patterson said.

This year, the band has put hours of practice into their marching show. Almost every morning, competitive members had to be on the football field by seven. Every Tuesday evening, rehearsal took place from six to nine. These practices have been proven to pay off.

“Competition wise, we came out of the gate further ahead than we have been in years prior. Competitively speaking, I think that we have executed at a higher level both musically and visually,” Michelle Bluford, band director for Elkhorn South said.

On top of the hours that are required of everyone, some people strive even further and take on leadership roles within the band.

“As hornline sargent, I work a lot with the staff, do a lot of lesson planning and help with the schedules. I lead visual warm-up in the morning. I occasionally will lead rehearsal,” senior Vicki Swanson said. Swanson also choreographed parts of the show this year, exhibiting her talents throughout the entirety of the season.

Another level of leadership that is seen more consistently throughout the students would be FOG, or ‘for others greatness’. Every instrument section in the band has at least one FOG.

People in this position are at practice at least an hour before and after everyone else. They are a major part of the success within the band.

“They’re basically the section leaders. They organize the section and help lead the section and help with anything that the section needs throughout the year,” Patterson said, completing her second year of being a FOG.

The band’s hard work ended up carrying them all the way to state. The Elkhorn South Marching Blue and Gold placed 7th out of 17 bands at state.They earned their pride and their respect.

“No matter what, persevere through the challenging times because that’s what makes you better,” Bluford said.

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