2023 Band Banquet Experience and Predictions

Tyler Buckenham, Staff Writer

Students are excited about this year’s Marching Band Banquet, which celebrates the accomplishments and memories of the marching season. The event will occur May 18 at 6:30 pm, and during the event, the guests are treated to a variety of food and entertainment that amuses them until the end of the banquet. Explaining what the banquet truly is, Parker Campbell, a 10th-grade percussionist for the marching band, said, “The band banquet means we get to look forward to a new season, because they always announce the next marching theme; which is really exciting, and we also get to rewind into the progress and memories we made from last year”.

With over 175 attendees, there is a great amount of food provided to the guests at the banquet. Guests are treated to a selection of food usually from Texas Roadhouse, though sometimes the event will feature a different restaurant for food. Nick Fero, a 12th-grade trumpet for the marching band, said, “Chicken Steak and Pork from Texas Roadhouse” were expected to be there. The event usually has selections of food platters as well as multiple sides like bread rolls, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Recounting, Isaac Tucker, a 10th-grade trombone player, said, “Steak and the bread rolls, as well as Long Horn’s brussel sprouts because they’re strangely good.”

While eating, the guests are treated with different presentations of what is to come next year, as well as memories of the marching season. There is a video compilation of moments in the marching season such as videos of practices, competitions, and football performances. The grand Finale of the event is held at the end of the presentation, which announces the theme of next year’s show. Many marchers are excited and enjoy pondering what the next theme will be. Guessing about the theme, Tucker said, “A Jazz theme because I like playing jazz, and trombones are featured more during jazz music”.

Students hold this event near and dear to their hearts, therefore some expect the banquet to be extravagant and memorable. These experiences will remind students of their friends and the challenges they have overcome during extensive practice. Recollecting these memories, Olivia Taft, the 10th-grade assistant drum major, said, “my favorite memory was when Ryan and Logan got married”. Although some students may take this event seriously, some are present to enjoy themselves and spend time with others. One of those who disagree, Nick Fero, believes that the banquet does not have a standard, and said, “it’s more of just a fun experience for everyone to enjoy.”

The marching band has experienced a challenging journey on its path to success. They have been practicing since late July in an event known as Band Camp. Band Camp is a required practice session that lasts for two weeks where the first week is from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and the second week is from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, adding to a total time of practicing 90 hours in two week. After the conclusion of Band Camp, the marchers will take a break, then resume practicing as soon as school starts again. After school starts, the marchers will practice each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Remembering this experience, 10th grader, Parker Campbell, said, “Justin throwing mallets and sticks at us” was the most memorable part of his band camp experience.

This seemingly endless amount of practice pays off in the long run. There are several competitions that the band participates in such as Peach State. At the Peach State competition this school year, the band received all ones and placed 2nd in Single-A. The band also participated in the Old Southeastern Invitational, a marching band competition hosted by Newnan High School, where the band received all ones, and placed 3rd in Single-A. This year, the band program was able to host a marching band competition here at Armuchee, which they were unable to do due to Covid-19. Though the band did not receive a grade because they were the hosts, they were able to witness the shows of multiple different school’s marching bands such as schools as close as Trion, schools a while away like La Fayette, and even a special exhibition performance by the University of West Georgia marching band.

Since its beginning, the band banquet has had an impact on the members by providing them with memories such as these about the marching year that they could never forget. Many moments have been reflected on by the reminder of them at the banquet. Recounting memories, Campbell said, “I don’t have very many memories from the banquets because Covid has only allowed me to go to one, but I’m looking forward to future experiences”. Though with the ending of another season, the marching band loses its senior class due to graduation, and some will audition for college marching bands. Senior, Nick Fero, said, “Being able to be around the same people” was what he will miss the most from graduating. Nonetheless, we will miss these seniors and the great season that the marching band had throughout the 2022-23 school year, but still, the band banquet remembers the highlights and memories we shared together through this great season.