Westside Band marches towards first show this fall

Published: Aug. 3, 2017 at 5:06 PM CDT
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With back to school time nearly here, high school students across the Metro are already hard at work with two-a-day drills for sports like football and volleyball. At Westside High School, students are working up a sweat, but with a different kind of two-a-day.

This summer boot camp at Westside High School is for students in the marching band.

It’s an entire week of intense, focused, two-a-day drills. There is one morning session and another in the afternoon where 150 marching band members keep going and going and going.

“It takes a lot of athletic skill and work,” said Tommy Krueger, the Westside Director of Bands.

Tommy Krueger is the drill sergeant at this boot camp. As the Westside Director of Bands, his job is to make sure each member is in lock-step for their upcoming season of music competitions and halftime shows.

“We'll be out here working for 4 hours working on different step styles, different marching techniques and fundamentals,” said Krueger.

Some of the band members also train as athletes -- like drummer James Henry.

“I run cross-country but it still burns my legs and it tires me out,” said Henry.

Others, like Ashley Rogers, believe marching for miles with a 50 pound tuba is a sport in itself.

“When you're putting 50 pounds all on your lower back, it just takes a lot of endurance. I mean, there's a whole argument is marching band a sport? Is it a sport? I'm going to say yeah,” said Rogers.

The Westside Band will take to the field for their first public performance during a football game on August 25th, with their first band competition later in September. So they’ll have a few weeks left to get completely in sync.

The Westside marching band plans to end their season with a performance in Los Angeles and they’re raising money for the trip by selling mattresses.

That’s right – not candy or magazine subscriptions – twin, full, queen, and king mattresses. The band will have an entire showroom set up in the Westside High School gym on Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM with prices up to fifty percent off retail.

The band will pocket a percentage of every purchase to help with their expenses.