Students prepare for homecoming halftime show; 21-22 school year opening in confidence


Katie Kinhart

NHHS Band Members practicing a performance. They continued to implement these practices for the upcoming show at the homecoming game on Oct. 8.


“I am very excited for this school year and marching band season,” said junior Katie Kinhart. Kinhart is a member of the school’s marching band. On Oct. 8 the homecoming football game will take place and the marching band will perform during halftime. 

     This 2021-2022 school year gives the marching band back their opportunity to perform after a two-year break. Kinhart believes that the band is finally starting to get prepared for the football season. The marching band practiced over this past summer to perform a “themed show”, said Kinhart. “We practiced for seven days doing different commands, marching basics, and following the drum majors’ commands. We practiced the different fundamentals over the summer by splitting up into sections and section leaders, like myself, taught the underclassmen while refreshing everyone’s minds on different marches.” 

     The different marches included, “forward march, backward march, forward slide, and backward slide.” A marching slide is done by completing a roll step then heel says Kinhart, “backward marching is toe to almost heel, but we do not let our heels touch the ground or else a domino effect might happen.” Kinhart continued, “left and right stepping, similar to forward marching, but our shoulders and upper half are faced towards the stands while our bottom half is faced in the direction we are marching.”

     The section leaders were also in charge of teaching those in the sections how to follow the different commands the drum majors would give commands such as parade rest, attention, and horns up. “During the last few days of band camp, we started going over the drill for the 2021-2022 halftime show, Motown themed,” said Kinhart. A lot of class time and several after-school rehearsals will be needed to fully memorize the entire show before Oct. 8 according to Kinhart. In addition to the needed practice time, percussion is a separate class, and after-school rehearsals allow the band to meet as a whole according to the director John Wojciechowski. 

     The use of summertime allows students to concentrate on the marching band show “without interruptions from normal routines at home”, said the South Hill High music program. Kinhart confirms this statement in addition to adding class time and after-school rehearsals to the needed practice time. The full band camp in 2021 took place July 28, 29, and Aug. 2-5. The times for each meeting were 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

     Wojciechowski told students they needed their “instrument, mouthpiece, reeds, neck-straps, sticks, valve oil, marching music, a mask, a flip folder and lyre, a pencil, water bottle, sunscreen, and a packed lunch” to each band camp meeting. 

     Wojciechowski also said that “Events during the summer are meant to demonstrate the Band’s support of our local community and to prepare the students for the upcoming Marching Band season.” It was an expectation for all band students to participate in the summer events. 

     Kinhart believes that the band will have 95 percent of the show memorized in time for the homecoming football game. SportsFanFocus said a halftime show typically lasts about 10 to 20 minutes, meaning students will have to memorize a 10 to 20-minute performance for this upcoming game.