Everlasting ensemble

Seniors share about their bond created through band


The SHS Marching Cardinals pose before going to their senior night. photo contributed by Owen Hodges

After the marching band’s senior night, senior Rachel Borho and other seniors felt emotional as they reminisced about all of the memories they’ve made during their time in marching band together.

“Seeing everyone crying together,” Borho said. “And seeing how far we’ve gone and how many friendships we made along the way was very cool.”
Whether it be the two stunted seasons due to COVID-19 or a band director change, the seniors in the marching band have been through it all together. Through these obstacles, the friendships they have formed and their dedication to not only band but to each other has been a driving force in keeping them going.

According to students like senior Jasmine Alexander, being in the marching band is such a big part of their lives that it also affects other areas of life outside of band.

“(The relationship with other seniors) has really made me push myself to get better as a musician and as a student,” Alexander said. “I have to do well in everything else … to be able to do band, so it just kind of uplifts everything in my life.”

Band director Jeff Maupin says that he tries to make band less about the music and more about the students. He tries to make it a comfortable place for everyone.

From being in class to hours of after school practices, performances and competitions, being in the marching band requires them to spend a lot of time together, which also allows them to form a bond that is stronger than just being fellow members of the band.

Senior Cameron Costello has been in multiple band programs since sixth grade, including concert band, jazz band, pep band, marching band and drumline. He has found the journey to be exhilarating and memorable and he treasures the friendships that he has made with other seniors in the band.

“Being with these people for so long, it’s like they’re my family,” Costello said. “It’s the reason I stayed in band at one point. Through 2020, it got rough, but my people kept me in it.”

In 2020, rehearsing and preparing was very difficult because of the many struggles that came with the pandemic. The hybrid learning schedule as well as the social distancing, which made them not able to practice as much, put limits on what they could do.

Despite these hardships, they still managed to put together a production that year. The marching band still had problems arising in 2021, when the number of students was extremely low due to the complex year before.

“They had to go through marching band in the COVID years and essentially had a large chunk of their marching band experience taken away from them,” Maupin said.

Much like Costello, senior D.J. Ranieri loves performing with his bandmates and believes that having a reliable support system helps them to overcome adversity. He also thinks having these close relationships creates a far more enjoyable experience, giving them a broader sense of fulfillment.

“It all comes back to that team effort,” Ranieri said. “We all have to work together to create one show, and that show is really a collection of everyone.”

Because of the number of seniors and how big of a part their class has played in the band, the program will look very different after they graduate as it will be filled mostly with incoming freshmen.

“I think it will kind of be starting fresh, but at a higher level, just because we’ve already set the standard,” Alexander said. “But then we have so many new-coming people that they will be able to keep bringing that up.”

Although the band doesn’t know what next year will look like without the seniors, Maupin says that even though they will be very sad to see them go, they will keep pushing forward.
“I’ve definitely made some friends along the way where it’s like, we’ve always managed to stay in contact through the summers and everything, and I don’t really see that changing,” Borho said.