GRAND HAVEN TWP. — The Color Guard’s flags flapped in the wind as the band counted in a marching step.

Throughout the recent evening rehearsal, the 112-student Grand Haven High School marching band prepared for their upcoming season. Their 2019 theme is “Firebird Suite” by Igor Stravinsky.

While members of the Color Guard and drumline regularly practiced throughout the summer, the rest of the GHHS band started rehearsing in July. So far, everyone understands the materials, said drum major Nathan Laws.

Laws, a senior, started in marching band during his freshman year of high school. The 17-year-old said there are great teachers and classmates involved in the band. Laws said one of his favorite times has been band camp, where he said everyone is together, learning and making memories.

Prior to joining the Color Guard, freshman Avalie Wheeler didn’t know much about the activity. The 14-year-old said she joined at the encouragement of a friend who also planned to get involved.

From learning the basics to tricks, Wheeler said the experience has been overall “fun,” and she felt like it was easy to learn new tricks. One of the more challenging aspects is remembering the places to march during the show, she said.

Sophomore Charlotte Ostric, who plays the cymbals, said she enjoys the work that goes into the season and the relationships they build as they work to make the show come to fruition.

Last year, the band received second place with an 88.6 score at the Allendale Invitational. The Buccaneers received third place in the AA class with an 88.6 score in the Grandville Invitational.

As the Grand Haven band kicks off its 2019 season, Iain Novoselich, director of bands, said the goal is to have cohesive sections and a “leading with service” mentality to empower students to perform an exciting show.

The band will perform at all four Bucs varsity football home games this fall. They will also participate in their own invitational and at the Jenison and East Kentwood invitationals.

Novoselich said he hopes students take away several things from the experience of participating in band.

“I hope students gain a deep understanding of friendship, teamwork, marching fundamentals and musicianship during their time in the marching band and throughout the year,” he said.

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