That tuba player you hear next door or the melodic sounds of the flutist you hear down the street may be the sounds of an award-winning gladiator. Quarantine may have changed our atmosphere, but the Gahr Marching Gladiators are still on their grind. To see what our school’s award-winning band is up to, we reached out to the marching gladiators' band director, Mr. Loney!
Photo obtained from gahrband
Here’s a glimpse of the performances that are anticipated between now and the end of the school year.
Honor Band (April 15th)
All the middle school and high school bands of ABCUSD are working on a virtual Honor Band performance that will debut on April 15th. Students from 7th-12th grade will have an extraordinary opportunity to work with a special guest conductor.
“May The Fourth Be With You” (May 4th)
“We are planning a virtual 'Star Wars' themed concert on May 4th (May the Fourth Be With You).” Pieces will include “The Mandalorian” and selections from “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” on this piece they will collaborate with Ross middle schools Falcons and Haskell middle schools Mustangs bands. The Gladiators will also do a few “Star Wars” performances from the past.
Solo Festival (TBA)
The Gladiators are currently working on a Solo Festival that will showcase students individual skills. Preparing for thus performance allows students to learn solo “repertoire.” Wind, percussion, as well as color guard students will participate in this concert. "The project will culminate with a virtual performance for an adjudicator where the students will receive feedback and a festival rating. There will also be awards for different solo categories.”
Online learning is not the same as the “normal” performance schedule they have. There are definitely limitations to meeting online including being unable to play at the same time during class periods. This means that “the musicians are unable to listen to each other for important musical concepts such as timing, balance, blend, style, and matching articulations.” The marching gladiators have had to learn how to practice more independently since quarantine started and it also gives students the opportunity to receive individual feedback. “The silver lining has been that our students have to be more individually accountable to learn their music. We definitely miss live performances, but are hopeful that we’ll be able to be back together soon.”
A couple musicians have expressed their opinions as well.
“Playing together in a band is more than notes on a paper and air through pipes, we learn a lot about teamwork, working with people for hours a day and most of us putting so much effort into what we produce because it does fill us with pride even in our 3rd or 4th place performances.”
-Lucas Mociler (Junior, Trombone)
“The thing that will never change is the preforming art itself. The Guard and I are still able to spin our equipment and dance even though we are at home and the band is able to play their instruments at home...I know in my heart that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and something good is going to come. She then quotes, "Gotta have opposites dark and light, light and dark in painting. It's like in life. Gotta have a little sadness once in a while so you know when the good times come." -Bob Ross”
- Candace Mitchell (Senior, Color Guard Captain)