Indiana Area Senior High School

By DEBRA FLINT- A sport, by definition, is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which a team competes against another or others for entertainment. The marching band is a vital part of every IHS football game. Many believe marching band is just a form of performing arts, and they’d be right, but it’s also a sport.

Some people assume that marching band is a competition. Freshman Skyler Wissinger says, “It [marching band] isn’t a sport, it’s a competition. A sport is like football with a lot of training.”

It’s assumed that the band will perform their show after one or two practices, but many people don’t see the hours of hard work that go into it.

Much like football or any other sport, marching band has a high school, college, and national league. The Indiana marching band may not compete every year, but bigger bands such as the Blue Coats, a professional band, train to compete.

The IHS marching band takes over every Friday during halftime. The band not only plays during halftime, but they also play pre-game, in the stands during the games, and post-game. A lot like football, the band learns a variety of sets that form the show. Football teams must memorize plays and techniques; marching band does that as well.  Each song can have up to twenty sets until the next song. Marching alone is hard, but adding instruments and eventually music makes the whole ordeal quite complicated.

Every Wednesday, the IHS band stays after school to tighten any loose screws before the big Friday game. Any other day that isn’t Wednesday is free game for individual sectional practices. A lot of other sports have weekly or daily practices, so does the band.

Freshman and flutist Audra Moore says, “Band includes working outside for hours on end to perfect an eight minute show, not spending 60 minutes playing a song then winging it on field.”

At least a week before school, everyone in the band comes out for Band Camp. Band camp is to train the “newbies” and veterans in marching, playing, learning drills; then putting it all together; much like the football players learn new plays and techniques to put on a show for fans.

Each band camp session can be described as one thing: exhausting. The band members withstand nine hours of heat, sweat, and marching. The football team goes through their own rough week of training for the football season. While the band doesn’t include contact drills, there is a fair share of running from set to set.

Every band has a different marching style, but IHS sticks with the classic military marching and marching commands. The marching style, described as roll stepping, requires a lot of calf muscles. Even more strength is needed for backwards and long- distance forward marching.

Marching band is a sport loved by those in it it and those who watch it. A lot of time and money go into every performance. Because of this, marching band deserves to be called a sport.

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{Photo by Louis Ribar}

Photo Caption: “The IHS band made their debut at the Indiana County Fair.”

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