Behind the Scenes of a State Championship


Everyone at Lewis Cass knows about the marching band’s reputation: 39 consecutive years making state finals and 10 state championships. However these things are never guaranteed and don’t come easy. Months of work and countless hours of practice go into each show. People might think we just show up and go, but that is far from the truth. Marching band requires more work, time, and dedication than most people would expect, and a state championship doesn’t come easy.

Most people would say band isn’t a sport and isn’t hard, but there are many athletes in the band who would consider band their most physically demanding activity. Keeping proper technique, staying in time, and hitting their spots all while playing instruments ranging from 2 to 50 pounds is not as easy as it looks. Training and practice started in July this year. During band camp we learned the basics for each of our sections. This includes marching technique, how to use our equipment (flags, percussion equipment, hornline instruments), and how to use our equipment while moving to our different spots on the field. Band camp itself was 80 hours of work.

Following band camp, we start weekly practices. Each sectional is about two hours long and full band practice for two and a half hours. On weeks we don’t have competitions, we generally have eight hour Saturday band camps. Competition days are no shorter than ten hours and can last as long as seventeen hours. A lot of that time is spent travelling or waiting for awards, however we do up to two hours of practice before leaving and an hour of warmups once arriving. We normally have about an hour and a half to get ready, but the time can fluctuate depending on call time (the time we have to be there in the morning) and travel time. 

Most people would wonder why we put so many hours into this season just for a gamble of making it to, or winning state, and the answer is simple to me. Marching band was one of the only things I had when I first joined in 2019. Slowly, the members within the band became like a second family to me. Of course we all had our moments and we fought just like any family would, but we always worked out our differences. The people in the band have helped me learn and grow as a person over the past three years, and I truly don’t know where I’d be without them.

In conclusion, much more goes on behind the scenes than the production everyone sees. Countless hours are put into making the show as perfect as it can be. Countless amounts of blood, sweat, and tears are put into every show. We help each other learn and grow as people and performers.We become a second family to each other, and we help each other through difficulties and problems. There isn’t another group I’d rather win state with, and I’m so proud of every member’s progress this season. Another championship for the Marching Kings.