Marching band is an athletic activity that requires musical skill, physical endurance, and the intelligence to retain the multitude of information given. The Redlands East Valley Marching Wildcats understand just how much it takes to be in an organization of such great demand. From the long rehearsals up to five times a week to the tiring drills and conditioning exercises, the students, instructors, and new band director, Brian Hollett, dedicate a large portion of their time to reach a common goal of putting on a great field show.
In addition to the time crunch of competitive season, the stress of putting together choreography, and the memorization of show music, the Marching Wildcats had to endure an extreme change in the system. After many years under the original band director Adelle Glass, the organization has welcomed a new band director named Brian Hollett.
Angel Okoye-kerr, a junior in the color guard, states that the switch in directors has “definitely affected all of [the people involved] as a whole.” She also says that “he is very nice, and it is good to get to know a new person.”
Brian Hollett is attempting to make improvements to the program by teaching the students more discipline and better skills with music theory.
Drum major, Clairmi McCurry, believes that “work ethics have definitely improved a lot. He no longer lets us slack off like we’ve always been able to. He pushes us to do our best because he believes we can do it.” She continues to say that “Although band has definitely become harder, he’s setting us on the right paths to our future and success. Mr. Hollett really cares about this program, and you can see it through all he does. The band has had its ups and downs since he started but I believe band has truly become more fun.”
The Marching Wildcats’ field show for the 2015 competitive season is entitled, “The Daughter of Orion,” which tells the story of Greek warrior Orion and how he was put up into the sky. The story has a twist with Orion being played by a female lead from the color guard named Taylor Beggs.
In the first movement, Orion battles the powerful bull Taurus (Angel Okoye-kerr), and the second movement showcases Aquarius, played by Aysia Hillyer, who helps Orion. In the third movement, Scorpio (Marie Quinonez), Orion’s biggest enemy, is introduced. The fourth movement is filled with action that includes two death scenes, the introduction of another hero, Sagittarius, and Orion being placed among the stars.
The Marching Wildcats perform in their next competition on November 7.