The Fort Hays State University’s Marching Band is counting down the days until the Kickoff Classic this Thursday at 7 p.m. on Lewis Field, where they will conduct their first performance of the year .
The Marching Band, along with the Tiger Debs and Color Guard, will be performing a Radio Show, which consists of tunes the crowd is sure to recognize.
These recognizable songs include “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, “Let Her Go” by Passenger and “Counting Stars” by One Republic.
“We want to make a connection with the students in the stands,” said Lane Weaver, director of athletic bands. “We just want to have some fun.”
“I think that since the songs are familiar with a lot of the audience, it will be very well received,” said alto saxophone player, Tanner Hassell, Leoti sophomore.
The marching band has been making every second count during their class time in order to perfect these familiar tunes.
“Rehearsal time has to be very efficient,” Weaver said. “At a typical practice we’ll warm up, stretch out, get our instruments warmed up and ready to go, and learn and review music.”
“We have worked really hard on our Radio Show, and it should come together very nicely,” said drummer Tyler Rathbun, Minneapolis freshman.
During halftime the performers will face towards the east side of Lewis Field, allowing students to get a front row seat to the show. However, at the game on Sept. 20, they will face the opposite direction.
“We typically do three different halftime shows a year…for each side of the field,” Weaver said. “We’ll have an ’80s show for the two October games, and then the November games, having a conjunction with Veterans Day, will be a patriotic, military salute type of performance.”
Each of these performances not only requires band members to learn music and drills, but also rely on their other band mates.
“The marching band and the entire music department are very tight-knit,” Hassell said. “I definitely agree that we are all like a family. Even as a non-major member of the band, I feel the sense of community, and it’s one of the main reasons I enjoy being in the bands here at Fort Hays.”
As the school year progresses, the relationships between Marching Band members will become even greater, and their performances will do the same.