Elder Band marches hard

Elder Band marches hard

More than one “team” of people practices meticulously to please the crowd at football games on Friday nights. These hard working men and women make up the Elder High School Band.

Throughout their high school years, members of the Band attempt to hone their skills by working their way up from beginning band as a freshman to learn the basics of their instrument of choice, and eventually make their way to the Elder Band and showcase their skills every weekend in front of thousands of people. Daily hard work in the classroom and after school is put in to make this a possibility.

“Since band is a class, during the school year we practice every day during the 7th period. In addition, we practice after school two days a week for about two hours each day (total of about four additional hours),” said the Elder Band Director, Mr. Stephen Geis.

Mr. Geis has been working at Elder for 41 years, and has been the Head Band Director for 37 years. He leads the entire band throughout the week in class and after school to prepare the students for their upcoming football games and competitions that take place during the weekends.

Most of the grueling training and preparation for the football season in the fall comes months beforehand in the blazing heat of the summer.

“Most of our preparation, work and time commitment is during the summer before school even begins.,” said Geis.

“During the summer we start practice the week after July 4th. We practice for a couple of weeks in July meeting with the “Rookies” for 1 day then the whole band the rest of the days (usually 3 days a week, 3 hours each day),” said Mr. Geis. “Then we have a week of Band Camp at the end of July, practicing roughly 10 hours a day on the marching and the music putting the show together. After band camp we return in August and practice 3 days a week for 3 ½ hours each day till school begins.”

What many people don’t realize is that the band doesn’t revolve around football. After the fall, many band competitions and concerts take place throughout the year.

“After the football season most of our time is spent in concert band preparing for Christmas concerts and the spring concert.  We also have several parades throughout the year, solo and ensemble competition in the winter, steel band and stage band activities. The Indoor Drumline and Indoor Guard are busy with competitions during the winter months, running from November till April.”

Whether you realize it or not, the Elder Band spends about as much time preparing and learning as much as any other sports team at Elder does. The work they put in demands more respect and recognition.