Marching Band Places 2nd at Linn-Mar

Kayden Fox

The Mount Vernon Marching Mustangs band placed second at the Linn-Mar band competition. The marching band works very hard to place high at competitions.

“We start preparing for competition season with band camp in the summer, which is  five days ,where we have practice from 9-5,” junior Noah Pisarik said. “We also had, up until recently, practices from 6:30 to 9 p.m. every Monday. We practice during first hour, as well as every other day during early bird. Between required practices and any time spent at home working on music, we spend a lot of time preparing to ensure things look and sound good,” Pisarik said.

The band prepares in many different ways for competition. “We do things like basic block forms to practice marching technique, sometimes we just play the music without marching, or run the drill with no music,” Pisarik said. “A lot of the time we just keep running the whole show or areas that need work until they improve.”

Marching band is a mentally and physically demanding activity. “It’s much more difficult and intricate than just walking around, so it can be a slow process with a lot of repetition,” Pisarik said. “After our competitions we usually have what’s called a clinic, which is basically a time after we perform where somebody will talk to us about what was good about the show and what needs improvement, these clinics will change what we do at our practices as they tell us what areas need the most work.”

The Marching band played many James Bond songs, including “Skyfall,” and “A View to a Kill.”

Junior Jayce Pendergrass plays in the drumline.  He said they learn by slowly practicing the music one step at a time. “It’s not as easy as it looks. There’s a lot more than just walking around a field,” Pendergrass stated.

Going into the band competition, Pendergrass said that the plan was to do their best. “Our goal was to go into there and focus on ourselves and getting better, and not focus on winning,” Pendergrass said.

“Other than at the first competition, I never feel very nervous about competitions. Competitions are always a ton of fun even outside of when we perform, you can watch other bands, eat, and hang out with friends. We warm up a while before we play which gives us a chance to all get together before we compete.” Pisarik said.

The Marching Mustangs perform 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at  at Prairie High School, and 6:45p.m. under the lights at Five Seasons (Kingston Stadium) in Cedar Rapids.