Pep Band Begins Another Exciting Year as CoVid Comes to an End


Abby Wallis

Pep band members pose for a picture after a successful football game performance on September 30, this year marking “the first time that pep band has played at the new football field.”

Celia Wallis, Staff Writer

The crowd murmurs quietly as football players rush off the field and trumpets blare. The pep band has begun its halftime performance, holding the attention of viewers while the players prepare for the next quarter.

But the pep band has not always been this way. Starting last January, the band was only able to play at a couple of basketball games due to their size.

This year marks an exciting point in the pep band’s history as they have overcome many setbacks during the pandemic and are planning to come back with even more pep than before. According to band teacher and pep band leader Charles Rogers, “These last couple of games… have been the first time that pep band has played at the new football field.”

The band also plans to be more engaged with the community than ever by collaborating with the cheer team to create a spectacular live performance during games.

The pep band is part of a wider community effort to bring bands throughout the school district together. HUES and CSDA band teacher Adam Wallis plays at many of the performances to encourage collaboration between middle school, high school, and elementary bands. He enjoys being able to see and make music with many of his former students.

Wallis has overheard many conversations about how people have really enjoyed the normalcy that the pep band has brought to games in the wake of the pandemic. He has also gotten a positive response from many parents.

The response from the community is encouraging, and Rogers is excited to continue to grow the band, using his high school experiences to influence the way that he leads the pep band and increase student engagement.

One recent change to the pep band is increasing the number of songs and their relevance to students.

Abby Wallis plays bari saxophone for the band and the song selection is one of the biggest highlights in her experience. “I am really excited about all of the songs that we get to play. One of the songs… is Buckjump, which is a Trombone Shorty song,” says Wallis. “We are playing a lot more interesting songs that people are more likely to know.”

As more people have been a part of the pep band recently, the band’s instrumentation has grown. Previously, players in the band have had to fill in by playing parts not written for their instruments. Now that the band has around 15-20 total members and 6-12 people playing at each game, there is less need to trade parts.

Though there has been a lot of growth these past two years recovering from the pandemic, there is still work to be done in achieving the same leadership and dedication that was present before.

Typically, a student directs the pep band every year. Unfortunately, since none of the students have had enough of an opportunity to learn the songs, that was not possible this year. Rogers is planning for this to return in the coming years.

While student leaders would have a larger commitment to the band, the commitment is fairly low for most students. Practices for the games take place during CavBlock the day before a game, and on the day of the game, students are expected to be there from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Students are also permitted to work on homework when they are not playing if they wish.

The pep band is meant to be an opportunity for students to explore new music, engage with the community through sports games, and, most of all, have fun. Abby Wallis urges students who play an instrument to get involved, saying, “People should come join the pep band if they are interested or they should check it out, it’s really fun and it’s a cool opportunity.”