By MYCAH LEWIS
Refs, players, and finally a marching band. The first home football game against Adrian on Saturday saw the completion of the football program with the introduction of the first ever Yellow Jacket Marching Band. The first performance of the marching band had been anticipated since Bridget Leahy was announced as the director of bands last year academic year. Since then the community and the school has rallied support to provide uniforms, instruments, and staff members.
When asked about her opinion on the recent successes, Ms. Leahy said that she is humbled by the “opportunity to work with this historical band.” Despite being a small ensemble, the band has received quite a buzz about their work in the form of an article in The Crescent News, a promotional video shot for Defiance College, and a field show broadcast on television last Friday.
The band demonstrated their fresh uniforms and style with a mixture of routines. Opening with a pregame routine which elicited an excited round of applause, left the crowd waiting for more. The Yellow Jacket band delivered with a half time show featuring a mixture of jazz and rock and roll performed for the first time not only by the Yellow Jacket Marching Band, but by professional trumpet player Aaron Romm. Romm’s jazz solo was, in the words of Yellow Jacket trumpet player Kyrsten Boyer, “Amazing! So amazing, that I found myself getting distracted while he played”.
From the stands it was apparent that there were a few mistakes in the bands execution of both the drill and music. Yet despite these mistakes the band persevered and managed to finish strong and complete the show while smoothly executing the drill and producing a strong and clear musical sound.
Time is often a major concern with marching ensembles around the world. The Yellow Jacket Band has had four weeks to learn their routine for Saturday’s game against Adrian, and in the upcoming months they will only have either a week or two to learn their new shows. Beth Tomlinson expressed her feelings saying the band was “fantastic despite only being together for such a short time”. If the show on Saturday proves anything it is that the Yellow Jacket Band is more than capable of producing a show in a short amount of time.
The performance was not mistake free, but the members are excited and eager to improve. Band member Melissa Wallace commented on the experience stating, it was “incredible, […] and even though the show wasn’t perfect it was super fun”. These attitudes will keep the Yellow Jackets Marching Band improving every show.
The band will be playing at all of the home football games this season and the Defiance Halloween Parade. Almost every home football game will see a new field show, offering plenty of opportunities to catch their show. For such a small band a strong response has been received from the community, proving just how large a role the band will play in the community and with the school. If you find that you don’t have anything to do on a Saturday head on over to the football stadium and cheer on both your Yellow Jacket Marching Band and the football team.