The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

Begin with the March

Freshmen dedicate the next years of their lives to band.

Playing The Original Gangster, they marched in lines and weaved around the dancers. At the front, standing still, are the percussionists. Closer to the back, carrying what looked like small metal pipes, are the flutists. Starting their marching journey, Jhaycob Rojas Alvarado (9) and Callie Wallace (9) plan on participating in band all four years.

Rojas Alvarado and Wallace have both been in band since sixth grade. Rojas Alvarado’s main instrument is the flute but he can also play the trumpet and the drums. Wallace is a percussionist who prefers playing the xylophones and marimbas.

While it might seem hard juggling classes with such a timely extracurricular, Wallace and Rojas Alvarado found a way to manage their honors-level classes and practice their instruments. To keep her grades in check Wallace, even though she “procrastinates until the very end” turns everything in on time. Rojas Alvarado also tries to keep up his grades but understands it can be challenging with so much going on.

“Sometimes when you have after-school stuff [like marching band] you get out late at night and you go do homework and you’re half asleep like ‘one plus one equals three.’” Rojas Alvarado said. “If you don’t practice and you suck, then the people in the band don’t like you.” 

Even though it can be tough having so much to do, both Wallace and Rojas Alvarado love the marching band and have similar dreams. They both want to be section leaders. “Section leaders lead the section…you help your little freshman people. Tell them what to do. You get to be the boss for a little bit,” Rojas Alvarado said.

Rojas Alvarado knows how important having a good section leader can be because of the three he has now. Wallace also strives to be a section leader: “I would be able to teach what I know to other kids and be able to help them.” 

But that’s in the future. Looking back in the past Wallace and Rojas Alvarado have not always been good at their respective instruments. “I’ve improved a lot since the beginning,” Wallace said.  “I remember playing ‘Hot Cross Buns’ in sixth grade. It was so bad.”

For Rojas Alvarado, he had two choices: coding or band. “I was like, ‘No, I suck. [I’m] the worst [at flute]. I can’t play this.’ And then my mom was like, ‘I already paid. You’re not going nowhere.’ So, I’m like, ‘Okay.’”

But even though practicing at home might have upset their families sometimes, 

At the recent Music Performance Assessment showcase, Lyman’s marching band got all superiors which is the highest grade a marching band can get. This did not come without the hard work. “I remember a kid passed out on the first day because he locked his knees, “ Rojas Alvarado said. 

Both freshmen kept playing to get where they are today—a place that makes them proud of how far they’ve come and how much further they can go. “It’s hard to start learning [how to play your instrument and understand the music] because you want to know it,” Wallace said. “But then you just don’t.”

Over the summer, members of the marching band attended Band Camp. There was a week, or more depending on the instrument you played, where everyone got to know each other and started practicing as a group. “I was in the front ensemble during marching band rehearsal. So we kind of practiced our music [inside], and then we went outside and then practiced it with the rest of the band.” Wallace said.

 During this time both Wallace and Rojas Alvarado were introduced to their favorite part of the marching band: the “weird” people that they spend most days with.  “[I learned] how to march…it taught me how to breathe. It is a lot of discipline.” Rojas Alvarado said. “A lot of thinking about [other] people. There’s a lot of [people], you can’t think of just yourself. You have to think of everything around you. Like the form…straight lines. There’s a lot of people involved…so group-building is important.”

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Devin Bromfield, Staff Writer

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