As those lazy, hazy days of summer wind down, figuratively, if not literally, extra-curricular activity prior to the opening of school has been picking up on the Riverbank High School campus.
One crew at the school, however, is new to ‘pre-season’ preparation.
While the first day of the new school year is approaching, RHS sports teams and cheer squads have begun their regular opening days of practice. But the Marching Band has begun its first days of practice, ever.
In the past, the school’s music department and its members mostly have stuck to the grandstands during football games, performing as a small ‘pep band’ from there. Occasionally last year, as the season wore on, the pep band and flag team performed at halftime from the track, where normally the cheer squad hangs out.
This year, though, Band Director Joey Aguilar promises a more traditional halftime entertainment program.
A small preview was on display during last Spring’s band concert, when the RHS band showed off its newly acquired uniforms. The next time they’ll be seen will be on the football field at home games, starting later this month.
Aguilar started full rehearsals in late July, teaching band members how to hold, and play, their instruments while carrying out marching maneuvers. The group also participated in an all-out ‘band camp’ in preparation for classes to begin on Aug. 8.
Aguilar described his band camp as the place where the group will learn a field show to perform at the football games.
“This year is unique because every single student is new at marching band,” Aguilar said.
This week, they were to be practicing from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with music and drill formations put on the field as opposed to the first week of rehearsals, with movement up and down the field being the focus.
“Mornings we are outside, afternoons we are inside working on music, evening we put it all together,” he said.
And even though school is starting soon, the band will have plenty of time to practice. The first football game is on Aug. 18, but the first home football game this season isn’t scheduled until Friday, Aug. 31.