Behind the Scenes of BOCO

The Homecoming dance is a beloved high school tradition that many students look forward to attending. However, alongside this dance is another event that some might not know of: band homecoming. Band homecoming, typically shortened to “BOCO,” is a homecoming dance designated primarily for students in Apex High’s Marching Band. It takes place directly after the Homecoming football game, lasting until around 11:30 PM. Around one hundred students attend BOCO each year, including marching band students, students in concert band, and non-band students who attend as plus-ones.

The reason for this separate homecoming dance is due to the marching band’s busy schedule. Throughout October, the Apex High Marching Band competes in various competitions nearly every Saturday of the month. Since the regular homecoming dance is always held on a Saturday, the marching band students have to miss it. That is why, in 2016, BOCO was created to provide these students with their own, personalized dance!

“We finish [playing at] the football game, we finish all the parades… and then we just have fun [at the dance] and let loose until 11:30, when we need to go home to get up early for the competition the next day,” explained Nikitha Sivakumar, who is the current co-president of marching band and is entering her fourth year as a marcher. She and Emily Vershay, her fellow co-president, were in charge of planning BOCO this year. They also enlisted the help of many band parents, including chaperones and those in charge of band communications. Their planning involved curating playlists, planning who would bring certain food items, and ensuring that the event went smoothly.

Although BOCO differs from a typical homecoming dance, it still retains many similar aspects. BOCO has its own court, including a BOCO princess, prince, king, and queen. This year, the prince and princess were Jacob Johnson and Semi Choi, and the king and queen were Griffin Gross and Nikitha Sivakumar. BOCO also has its own unique theme: Halloween! Since BOCO always takes place near Halloween, the theme remains the same each year. Due to the theme, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors typically wear Halloween costumes to BOCO. In fact, the only students who wear formal attire are the seniors. This unique dress code is a tradition that has continued each year.

While some may think that marching band students would feel upset over missing homecoming, the opposite seems to be true.

“I’m totally okay with missing Homecoming because we won Grand Champs at our competition the day of homecoming,” stated Janelle Rasp, a senior and section leader of the band’s front ensemble. The award she is referring to is the Grand Champion Award that our marching band recently won at the 33rd Annual Festival of Bands in Fuquay-Varina. This was one of the two competitions that the band attended on the day of the homecoming dance.

Janelle also added: “I think BOCO is a pretty good substitution [for the homecoming dance] because most of my friends are in band, so I was hanging out with the same people.”

Janelle Taylor, another senior in marching band, had a similar answer.

“I personally don’t like dances that much, so missing Homecoming at first was fine,” she stated. “I feel like BOCO seems a little more fun because you get to dress up in costumes, and that felt better for me because I don’t really like dresses that much.”

Although BOCO has been around for a relatively short amount of time, it seems that it will continue for years to come. We are extremely proud of the Apex High Marching Band for their win at the Annual Festival of Bands, and we hope that they had an amazing time at BOCO this year!

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