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Life of a band student: students transition from marching to concert season

Kaya McDonough, Reporter

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Whether it be marching band during the fall or UIL during the spring, the Ranger Band keeps sophomore French horn player Payton Atkinson very busy. With marching season ending, she is rehearsing for all-state Band while prepping for the Christmas concert and juggling other consuming classes as well.

Payton Atkinson, 10

“I definitely have less time to do homework,” Atkinson said. “But I think it’s really helpful in the sense that it helps you manage your time”.

Most band members’ busy schedule comes from marching band with rehearsal three times a week from 4:05-6:45 p.m. and competitions on Saturday, all while supporting the football team on Friday nights.

Andrew Chase, 11

“It’s just busy during the fall. A lot of the stress and the need to be super efficient with my time is because of marching band,” junior trumpet player Andrew Chase said. “It taught me how to be a leader. It’s taught me how to be efficient with my time. It’s made me better as a musician.”

In addition to the school-related band activities, many students are also involved in outside bands and orchestras.

“I am in Austin Youth Orchestra, and we practice two hours a week in the second semester,” Atkinson said.

Some students are even involved in more than one outside activity like Chase who plays in a youth orchestra called Vivace in Georgetown and the band at his church.

For Atkinson, band can also get stressful sometimes, just like any other extracurricular.

“If I get really stressed about it, there are many ways that I try to get away from it,” Atkinson said. “I’ll either do something else or I might do the opposite of that and start thinking about it in a positive way, like if I have a competition coming up instead of stressing about it I will think ‘no, no I’m going to do great.’”

Even though band is a big time and social commitment, it has also made huge impacts on students throughout their high school years.

“Most of my friends are in band and my life schedule basically revolves around it,” Atkinson said. “Honestly, even though I would have a lot more time for school work and other things outside of band, I really don’t think I could see myself not being in band. I just love it so much.”

 

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Life of a band student: students transition from marching to concert season