ELHS marching band is preparing for their next season


Photo by Donald Keough

Teaching next year’s drum major candidates, Molly Ford (11) leads and exercise. This is Ford’s second year as a drum major.

As the school year comes to a close, the marching band is getting ready for their upcoming season. This fall they will be playing the show, “Pure Imagination” arranged by Jeff Chambers.

Larzelere will be directing his 13th season with the band this year. Along with playing for the marching band during high school, Larzelere is helping bring the program together by coordinating the student leaders and rehearsing the group.

“We’ll have upwards of 130 total students this year,” Larzelere said “Compared to last year’s 110 students, this is a really good number.”

The show will feature music such as “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman and “Pure Imagination” from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

“We’ll have a lot of opportunities for some really cool moments with the color guard and the drill design,” Larzelere said.

The band will meet together for the first time on June 2. They will receive their music and run through it, however the main focus will be the social aspect. 

“It’s an opportunity for the students to connect socially so that they can be successful during the season,” Larzelere said.

The practice will also prepare the band for marching band camp, a week and a half long event of rehearsing and marching. 

“[Band camp] teaches the younger people how to march and helps the returning members back in the loop,” Grace Liggett (11) said. 

Liggett is one of the students attending band camp. Liggett will also be leading the saxophone section this year as a section leader. This is her first year as a section leader and fourth year in the band. She took up the position for a number of reasons. 

“I always thought the section leaders were cool when I was younger,” Liggett said. “Having a little bit of power will be nice too.”

Liggett’s job as a section leader is to help guide the section and assist others when help is needed. Being a section leader comes with its own set of challenges.

“Trying to figure out how to explain stuff to other saxophone players is gonna be tough,” Liggett said. “It’s also intimidating leading others who are the same age as you.”

Another leadership position in the band are the drum majors. These students are selected by audition, and are the ones to conduct the band. Molly Ford (11) is one of last year’s returning drum majors. This will be her second year as a drum major, and she has high hopes for the fall.

“[The season] could be good for us, with all of the incoming freshmen,” Ford said.

As the number of marching band members return to what they were pre-COVID, the band is gaining a large incoming freshman class. Freshmen are now required to join the marching band, which also contributes to the increase in members.

The influx of younger peers presents its own set of difficulties for the drum majors.

“Wrangling a bunch of high schoolers comes with its own set of problems,” Ford said. “We have to make sure everybody feels competent in it. Playing can be difficult, but moving while playing is an entirely different beast.”

Despite the larger numbers, last year over half of the band had never marched before, while this year it will only be the freshman. 

“I think [this year] will be easier than last year because there’s still gonna be less people to fully train,” Ford said. 

The band’s first performance won’t be until mid-fall, so they’ll have the summer to overcome these challenges. 

“We’re coming off of a really good season,” Ford said. “It’s not like the 2019 season was amazing, but then we had a year off and we couldn’t really keep building that momentum. And we can do that this year.”