ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – High school football is almost upon us. Teams across the Big Country have been hard at work getting ready for the season ahead. Joining them in that early practice are another big part of the gameday experience, the marching bands.
“A lot of times, the finished product is what people might know us for”, says Abilene High band director Jon Kraemer. “What they see at one football game, you backtrack that anywhere from two to three months, and that’s when kids started working on it from the get-go.”
Many of the bands have already been practicing for a few weeks this summer. “It gives the kids a leg up”, says Michelle Lessing, director of the Wylie High band. She adds, “For the new freshmen, they’re having to balance a lot, so we try to give them a leg up.”
Working hard, the Abilene High band practices, “about six, seven hours a day”, says Kraemer. Rains may have limited the opportunities to march outside, but practices are still active as ever. Kraemer says, “It’s very athletic. It’s very high energy.”
Preparing students for the difficult work of playing in the marching band may be busy, even hectic, but that’s why they’re practicing early. Lessing says, “There’s a lot of facets that we’re covering. It helps prepare. We have the most time now.”
All of that work to make a flawless show each Friday night throughout the fall months, and to train band members up for individual competitions later on.