Igels at the helm


Every Friday night 10,000 people flock to The Pit to watch a football game and enjoy pre-game festivities.  However, a seemingly underappreciated aspect of Elder football is the Elder Band playing at halftime and throughout the game.  The Spirit of Elder is led by two important members: twins John and Megan Igel.

Megan and John come to Elder from Our Lady of the Visitation.  Megan and John come from a musical family with another older sister, Emily, and cousins Krista and Kyle who also played in Elder’s band.

Megan, a senior at Seton, is the Drum Major.  She is the band member dressed in a different uniform who is on the stand conducting the entire band.

“I am the drum major.  I was chosen for this role both through an audition and interview process with the band directors, as well as a student vote.  I am also the clarinet section leader, which was chosen through student vote,” said Megan.  “I am in charge of leading the band during our marching performances, including halftime shows, competition shows, and parades.  I also work with band president Spencer Niehaus to plan fun activities for the band students and to communicate between the students and the directors.”

Megan learned to play in Visitation’s grade school band.  “My sister began playing clarinet when she was 10, and she seemed to have a lot of fun performing.  I wanted to be like her so I joined the grade school band as well.”

Aside from being the Drum Major, Megan has been in the Steel Drum Band for four years and had also participated in the South West Ohio Catholic Honor Band in her freshman and sophomore years.

John, a senior at Elder, is the percussion section leader or also known as the Drum Captain.

“I lead the largest section in the band, and I also make sure everyone stays at the right tempo, and along with my sister, our Drum Major, we make sure the band stays on track.  We have to work with each other to keep everything going well.  Just like a quarterback on the football team, I need to make sure everyone knows what he or she is doing in drum line, along with myself.”

John is essentially the leader of the band’s most beloved section.  The drum line is known to play during lunch periods to get the students pumped up for an upcoming game or match.  John, however, has not always been a drummer.

“I learned trumpet at Visitation and I took lessons for piano for a few years when I was younger.  I was taught how to play drums by an Elder graduate, John Bertke, who currently teaches lessons at Keller Music on Rapid Run Road.  I always thought being in the drum line would be cool, and I knew from my older sister, Emily, that being in Elder’s band was fun, so I decided I would learn to play drums and be in the band.”

John is also a member of the Steel Drum Band with his sister, the Pep Band which plays at basketball games, and Elder’s Indoor Drum Line.

John and Megan both agree the band has been working hard and believe they have a successful year ahead of them.  They have been very dedicated and the work has paid off.

Megan added, “The band has worked really hard this year and put on the best show in years!  Participating in band has been an amazing experience to share with John, and I have made dozen of friendships that won’t easily be forgotten.”