Apex High Marching Band: Interview

With the 2018 marching season finally over, it is time to look back on one of the less appreciated organizations at Apex High: our marching band. Conducted by Mr. Jarvis, the Apex High Marching band plays at every football game that is played on our home field and practices endlessly from August through November. To commemorate their dedication, Peak Student Media interviewed a graduating senior from the program.

What is your name?

Richard Smiley

Which sport(s) are you involved with?

If you consider marching band a sport, then that. Other than that, nada.

Which instrument do you play?

Tuba. It’s technically sousaphone, but I think that people can recognize tuba [more easily].

Why did you choose that instrument?

I choose the tuba because back in the days of middle school, we essentially had set instruments to start on, so, essentially, I started on the trumpet, and I sooner or later got tired of having to compress my lips in order to get into the mouthpiece. One day, also by coincidence, my band teacher came up to me and said, “You should switch over to tuba,” so I decided to take her up on that offer, and I just never switched back.

What is your favorite part of marching band?

Before football games and before competitions where we’re just hanging around doing section stuff. Getting hyped up, because, you know, you practice all week for this one moment. It’s a double edged sword. It’s very nerve wracking, but we have chants and other section stuff to hype each other up so we can go in having a positive mindset, no matter what happens.

What is your favorite part of band, overall, at Apex High?

Overall, my favorite part of the band at Apex High is that I can’t really recall anybody who has a negative mindset about it or really causes trouble. Everybody I know about in the band is a very good kid, and they’re all good players in their own [right].

What is your least favorite part of marching band?

It’s hard to be optimistic towards the end of the tunnel when you’re right in the midst of the summer time; just starting out bandcamp, and it feels like everything comes to a crawl with having to go over the basics with the freshmen again, and marching box drills with sweat coming out of your body everywhere.

What is your favorite memory from band?

Oh man, there’s so many to choose from, but I think, as of right now, my favorite memory from the band is the last football game, senior night. It was supposed to be another day of the week, but then, because that was right when the hurricane came and the weather was happening, they moved it to Thursday. So, I essentially had a reason to be all hype because my last football game ended on a tuba Thursday. [Especially], because it was the last time I am ever going to have to play at the football game, and watch our team “Do well,” and, you know, just be hype, and last but not least it was senior night, so we got goodies too. I still have my visor from that night, and I will never lose it.

If you were to go back in time and be able to choose any instrument to learn, which would you choose?

Oh man, I couldn’t imagine betraying my tuba, but if I had to choose, if I had to pick, I would probably be playing some sort of saxophone. Just because sax players, and even though they’re really annoying when they do it, I always get jealous because it feels like they always know a bunch of songs off the top of [their heads], which they are always playing when I get into the band room. And sax is just groovy enough where you can kind of get what they’re doing.

What is your favorite song/show that you have done in marching band?

Our most recent show, “From Dusk Till Dawn.” Of course you’ve got all of the benefits of being a senior, but that was just absolutely amazing. First things first, this is going to be a little bit odd too, but we have a shirt designed off of our marching band show that we get to wear in the school, and I like to think of myself as a T-Shirt connoisseur. This year’s show-design shirt was killer, like the moon on one half that was on a slant, and the sun underneath it. It made an amazing picture and it felt like we had so many [of those]. I know this was the biggest band we had, but it felt like we had power. And finally, going back to the senior stuff, it was kind of nice, even though I wasn’t a section leader and I wish I was so I could tell others what to do, that nobody was constantly breathing down my neck, going, “Alright Richard, you’ve got to do this, this, and this.” I mean, there were moments I needed a quick refresh, but no one pulled me aside to work on how to march in step or anything.

Would you recommend others join the marching band?

I mean, of course! I’ve been doing it for four years. Even though we’ve had shaky moments, in the end, I think you look back on it and say, “Yeah, all that was worth it.” You just see your growth with marching in time, and it’s also fun to see the other people around you. Like, on the first day you just think, “How are these freshmen even gonna know a thing?” By the end of the year it just feels like every little puzzle piece comes together and you’re like, “Wow, that all surprisingly came together,” and you just feel so much satisfaction from that fact.

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