Northwestern Press

Thursday, May 24, 2018
PRESS PHOTOS BY ANNA GILGOFFDayna Dengler, who plays the flute, will be playing with the high school band in September. PRESS PHOTOS BY ANNA GILGOFFDayna Dengler, who plays the flute, will be playing with the high school band in September.
Kate Browning wants to continue playing the saxophone when she enters high school. Kate Browning wants to continue playing the saxophone when she enters high school.
Miles Meadows and the rest of the band rehearsed for the middle school concert slated for 7 p.m. May 16. Miles Meadows and the rest of the band rehearsed for the middle school concert slated for 7 p.m. May 16.
Hudson Wertman was one of the first to nine up for ice cream. Hudson Wertman was one of the first to nine up for ice cream.
Natalie King was ready to dish out the ice cream on a very warm May day. Natalie King was ready to dish out the ice cream on a very warm May day.
Emma Nelson, Zachary Leith, Samantha Ritchie and Aiden Baer all have a future with the high school band. Emma Nelson, Zachary Leith, Samantha Ritchie and Aiden Baer all have a future with the high school band.
Band Director James Lykins said, “Marching band starts two weeks before school starts and in the evening.” Band Director James Lykins said, “Marching band starts two weeks before school starts and in the evening.”

Band boosters present plans at ice cream social

Thursday, May 10, 2018 by ANNA GILGOFF Special to The Press in School

Was it inspiration or just coincidence that led the band boosters to schedule an ice cream social on the warmest day of the year?

As soon as rehearsal for the band concert scheduled for May 16 ended, the middle school band members filed into the band room anticipating the cool treat.

Students were also treated to the boosters’ plans for expansion of the band and given multiple invitations to continue their music careers by joining the high school band.

Drum major Jess Eberle was one of several students to address the band.

“The best part [of joining the high school band] is I met so many people,” she said. “I could possibly conduct all of you, making sure you stay together on and off the field.”

Band Director James Lykins also extended the invitation.

“It’s really cool to be out on the football fields under the lights,” he said. “There is no better way to get to know other people.

“From the first day of school, you’ll already know 50 other students.”

“I don’t know any other group that has the [spirit of] family and camaraderie of a high school band.”

He explained the high school band room has been completely remodeled.

“The administration really supports us splitting time,” Lykins said. “You can be in anything else and still be in marching band. [Even] if you’re a seventh grader, [and] if you’re a strong player, you have every opportunity to sign up.”

Every effort was made to explain how the high school band works.

“Band camp is two weeks before football season,” Ross Mather said. “This is where you go to play and connect the dots.

“Over all it’s a lot of fun and I’ve been doing marching band for a long time.”

Lykins said that in nine days they will learn everything from marching moves to half the show.

“For those two weeks in August, it is an awful lot of fun,” Lykins said.

“This past season was my first year in marching band,” Hayden King said. “We basically go out every Friday night during football season and do a half time show.

“We play band songs as the football team plays and we do a Halloween parade.”

“The stands tunes are really fun,” Eberle said.

“But everything comes off band camp.

“That’s where you learn how to make the entire show which is absolutely a blast for me. I couldn’t think of my life without band.”

Lykins also tried to allay any fears the young musicians might have regarding performing at the football games.

“You will be given a flip book to hook to your instrument or your arm,” he said. “Usually it’s one page per piece of music.”

“You are joining a family,” Dennis Dengler, band booster president said. “This is a group of people that will be brothers and sisters to you.”

Dengler said the marching band has much to look forward to.

“We’re going to represent our school and our state at an experience you will not forget,” he said. “You’re going to be singing [Queen songs] on the bus rides. Those are the memories you’re going to have.”

“We’re at the beginning of something totally new,” said band booster Sean King. “We really listen to the students and hear what they want. [Future plans include] a great opportunity for you guys to show off your skills.”

According to King, plans will be finalized by May 30.

“We’re going to have a midseason picnic. It’s really an exciting time to be doing this,” King said.

The band boosters are currently sponsoring a chicken dinner fundraiser from Kauffman’s barbecue.

“Sean [King] is the visionary of this whole thing,” Dengler said, who has three of his children in the middle and high school band. “It’s pretty easy to get behind it.”

“Six months ago, we talked about a new direction.

“If half the kids join we’re going to double the size of the band.”

To raise funds for all the band initiatives, the band boosters are selling tickets for the chicken dinners.

“We want to have the kids sell as many tickets as possible,” Dengler said. “On Monday May 21 out in the parking lot you give your ticket in and we give you your dinner. It’s a drive through pick up.”

“We’re trying to raise about $1,000 per event,” Dengler added.

Anyone interested in purchasing a dinner should contact him for tickets at 610-533-6855.

The combined middle school band and chorus spring concert will take place 7 p.m. May 16 in the middle school auditorium.

Members of the community are invited to attend the free event.