For how long have marching bands performed during football games? At the University of Notre Dame, the Notre Dame Band has been a staple at college football games since the first contest between The Fighting Irish and Michigan on the gridiron in 1887. Every game, the Notre Dame band takes the field and does their part in representing the university and continuing storied traditions of the school.
In keeping with this tradition, the Alpharetta High School Band performs during halftimes at our football games. Our Raider Marching Band, Color Guard, and Cheerleading Squad attend the games and put on performances for the crowd. They display well-rehearsed and mastered routines that exemplify qualities that are sought after in the performing arts: coordination, grace, and eloquence.
Additionally, when the football team is on the field playing, all of the aforementioned Alpharetta Band and Cheer members can be seen showing school spirit and pride in their fellow students who showcase their skills on the football field, cheering avidly from the sideline.
However, this kind of mutual respect among extracurriculars seems slightly lacking at Alpharetta High School. Oftentimes, Band members feel as though they are not respected. Many of their peers view Band as less than an extracurricular, thinking that it takes no effort to participate. The student body has little understanding of the toils their friends in Band go through.
This is extremely disheartening, given the lengths that the Raider Band and Color Guard go to in order to put on a good performance for attendees of the games. Band meets every day and works long hours to get better, for little recognition. Color Guard in particular practices and performs for 20-30 hours weekly, showing a great amount of dedication to their craft.
The hard work of the Raider Band has been reflected in their past competitions, specifically in the inaugural Northeast Florida Marching Invitational held on the campus of Jacksonville University. In 2015, they finished first overall and were dubbed the Grand Champion of the event, according to the North Fulton Herald.
The Raider Band has demonstrated great poise and a winning attitude, expecting the best out of their performances and not shying away from the grind and repetition that it takes to get there.
Despite this evidence, students at Alpharetta High School still seem to lack appreciation for their band. Sometimes all it takes to change a stigma is one small comment, one seemingly insignificant action, that is contrary to the status quo. Perhaps the next time the Raider Band takes the field, you should spur them on by cheering, or maybe when they finish their routine, applaud.
The members of Band are our fellow students, members of AHS, who sacrifice a lot of their time to make our school look good. They are full of school spirit, and cheer with zeal for Alpharetta on Friday Nights. They deserve support and respect just as any other extracurricular at Alpharetta High School.