With every new school year comes a new season of marching band. Every year, band students come together and work together with people that may not even be in their grade, to perform at events like football games, competitions, and Homecoming.
So far over the weekends of September 11th, 18th, and 25th, the marching band has performed for their fellow students and parents, played competitively at Waukesha North and South, and some have even played at the halftime show at Camp Randall in Madison.
With every year comes new challenges and pieces to play. This year, Franklin’s marching band is playing Riverdance in celebration of its 50th anniversary. At competitions, the band has come in fourth overall but have not been able to beat any of their competitors in AAAA, the division including large schools like Franklin and Oak Creek. At their practices, they are slowly adding new choreography, including dance moves and poses, and are refining their appearance to improve their professionalism. They have been taking the information they have received from the judges at competitions.
Some sections have even received outside help from teachers at different schools. Tobie Wilkinson from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater recently came to the high school to help the marching band’s drumline both appear and sound more professional.
I recently had the chance to interview the band’s director, Mrs. Umhoefer, and ask her some questions about the marching band.
What was the scoring of Franklin’s marching band at their competition on Sunday, september 20th, and at about what level of skill is that score?
Mrs. Umhoefer: We earned a 62.20, and that is our highest season opener score we’ve ever had. We placed 4th overall, and, looking at schools throughout the state over the weekend, we’ve placed very high in quad A.
Compared to past years, how has this year’s marching band been performing and enhancing their abilities?
Mrs. Umhoefer: Every year has built upon the hard work upon the past, so it’s been evolving over time. This year’s band has an especially good work ethic, a positive attitude, and a commitment to performing at their best.
Do you feel that we might have a chance at possibly getting first out of all of the schools that go to our competitions?
Mrs. Umhoefer: I think in time we will be able to be performing at a very, very, high level.
What do you feel the marching band has to work on the most to become the best they can?
Mrs. Umhoefer: We play extremely well. Our musical capabilities are very high, but the marching style is new. Our visuals are being improved upon from last year greatly.
Note: This interview was done prior to the marching band’s latest performance at Waukesha South on 9/26/2015.
What Mrs. Umhoefer says holds strong when the scores are looked at. Last year at state, they had a score of 61.05. Both of their competitions so far this season have already gone above what they had at state last year. At their competitions so far, they have received a score of 62.20 at Waukesha North and a 70.50 at Waukesha South. Although many thought they performed unprofessionally and messed up a few times, getting a higher score than last year’s final competition at this year’s first and second is great motivation for the rest of the season.
Stay tuned for more Marching Band updates!