Middle school students participate in high school band

On Sept. 20 at the Westlake football field, the marching band held their annual event and performed with the middle school bands from Hill Country and West Ridge. Before the game, the three bands performed multiple songs together, and eighth graders were invited to stay in the stands with the marching band through the rest of the game. To members of the band, this event is one they look forward to from the first day of school. 

“I remember as an eighth-grader being so nervous to perform with the high schoolers,” freshman Aditi Rajesh said. “I realize how important it is to show how much fun band is [to middle schoolers] because if I didn’t have a good experience last year, I probably would have quit band.”

Although there is much to share with the eighth graders, the high schoolers have a tight time restriction. 

“Since we were only with them for a short period of time, we tried to make the most out of it by talking to them and explaining what band is,” Aditi said. “We also really wanted to set a good example for them and encourage them to be more engaged when it comes to band.”

Aditi also notes that the high school marching band is a large commitment and a big step from the middle school band. Members practice nearly every morning of the week and have their fair share in practicing under the hot sun. Additionally, she stresses how close marching band members are.

“Band is a family. As much as people say it’s a cult, it’s a family, because when we’re out in the burning hot sun just pushing through to get our show good and perfect,” Aditi said. “We share the same experiences and understand what it’s like to be part of band.”

A band member and section leader, junior Audrey Lingan also gave her insight on the band experience.

“[The event] was really fun,” Audrey said. “My sister is in middle school, so that was an experience that we got to share.” 

Audrey also reflected on her own eighth-grade experience. 

“I just remember being in their shoes when I was in middle school,” Audrey said. “And it was just so amazing to play with high schoolers. It’s really nice to be able to give back.”

Along with this, Audrey gave an overview of the schedule of the middle school and high school band event.

“In the actual middle school night, when they play with us, it’s really regulated by directors, and they kind of just come on and we play a couple songs,” Audrey said. “But then the eighth graders will come into the stands. There, we get to tell them about how band is, and it’s really cool for the eighth graders to see the freshmen and how they’ve commingled into the band. We teach them our dances, and then they get to see our show. So it’s like this whole event where they get to be a high school band member for a day.”