Gull Lake band. In addition to playing at sporting events, they also compete with other bands in marching invitationals during the fall and festivals in the spring.
At festivals, each band has to play three songs.
“They have to play a march, they have to play a required piece off a list, and then they have a piece that I choose,” said director Floy Latham. “So, for the concert band, they are playing a march called Salute to the Colors, a required piece called Nathan Hale Trilogy, and an optional piece called Joy. The symphonic band is playing a march called Black Granite, a required piece called ‘Rhosmyedre,’ and an optional piece called Haven Dance.”
Even though both concert and symphonic bands are separate, they do not compete against one another. During festival in the spring, bands are granted a numerical rating, one being the highest and four the lowest.
Concert band occasionally gets a one while symphonic gets ones more often.
“But it’s not the ratings that are important,” said Latham. “The improvement is the important part.”
But there aren’t just two band classes. There’s also jazz band. It isn’t necessarily an entirely different band, per se, but an extra class that band members can choose to take.
According to Latham, “They are having a good time. We haven’t had any performances yet, but will be playing at the pre-festival concert. They are playing a piece called In the Mood, and are going to be playing at Glitter.”
The band also plays during basketball games in an activity called Pep Band.
“We changed pep band this year,” said Latham. “Everybody’s required to do two pep bands, so it’s much bigger than it’s ever been and much louder than it’s ever been.”
Ms. Latham is also choir director, and has “just purchased a piece called Salute to the Armed Forces, and is both band and choir together. And yes, I want to do it. That is a vision for the future.”
The bands will be performing in a pre-festival concert on February 6 at 7, and concert and symphonic bands will be at festival on March 2 in Plainwell.