Changing of the guard at Northwestern’s Homecoming
Some times it’s about the football. Sometimes it’s about the return of the king and queen to crown new royalty.
Sometimes it’s about catching up with alumni who have come home for a visit.
But for the Northwestern Lehigh marching band, Homecoming is about changing of the guard and making the transition from junior to senior.
For band seniors Julian Skilton, Jennifer Lindtner, Kelly Mease and Drum Major Jessica Eberle, it’s also about preparing to say goodbye and planning for life after high school.
It’s a time for moving on and also a time for introspection.
“I will miss the people,” Eberle said. “I’ve known Mr. Lykins (former marching band director) since sixth grade.”
Allison Kline, M. Ed., was recently named the new high school marching band director.
As a tight-knit group, the band has performed together at many venues, even at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Fla.
“I’ll miss the younger band members whom I’ve gotten the chance to watch grow,” Eberle said as she teared up about the idea of leaving her favorite people. “I’m fine now but later, I don’t know.”
Eberle and her fellow senior band members won’t miss performing in the rain or cold.
She recalled their performance at Wilson High School.
“We played our halftime music and then we got back on the bus,” she said.
Although there maybe rivalries on the football field, band members often meet after the football games to play together.
“If we have the same arrangements, we can play together,” Eberle said.
She recalls a time when she was able to direct 100 combined band members.
For this year’s Homecoming, on Sept. 27, the marching band performed Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” and “Bad.”
They had been practicing the new music and the moves for months.
There’s an older tradition at Homecoming that the band did this year.
Junior Drum Major Jenna Frye took over for senior Drum Major Eberle.
The two switched places between the musical arrangement. Frye directed and Eberle played the piccolo.
The changing of the guard transition at Homecoming on Sept. 27 was bittersweet.
“I’m really excited,” Frye said.
But she admits she will miss Eberle, who will be attending Fairleigh Dickinson University after graduation.
Eberle plans to study cosmetic chemistry and science.
She will carry her music with her and has looked into the potential of playing in a band near the university.