Revived band program greeted with student enthusiasm

Stilwell Band program has grown to 40 members this year.

Stilwell Band is going big this year, with what members describe as “fun, fun, fun” plans to march at football games with a color guard, and the help of a new Booster Club.

Last week, band camp was held for students who are learning Beach Boy songs, like “Fun, Fun, Fun,” as well as how to march and work as a team.

Band Director Todd Robertson is working to revive the band program. Last year, there were eight students in band, and this year, 40 are marching.

“With such a beginning band, we’re working on fundamentals of marching and starting our halftime show,” said Robertson.

The band is really coming along well, he said.

“We’re really pleased. We’re learning the National Anthem and Ama Mater, which was written in 1930, to play at the end of home football games so people can sing,” he said.

Three student musicians shared why they’re excited to be part of the band program.

Freshman Jaydon Kindle plays the tuba.

“Everyone in it is really nice and tries to help you if you mess up. I like playing the National Anthem, especially on the tuba; you play the bass part,” Kindle said.

Sophomore Rhokiya Kirk plays bass drum. It’s her first time in band.

“I love everybody in it. They’re all sweet and nice and helping me all through it. It’s mainly pretty easy right now, but might get harder,” Kirk said.

Eighth-grader Kylie Sidebottom likes playing flute.

“All the people you get to meet are really fun. At Friday night games, we have fun and engage the people to have fun with us,” Sidebottom said.

Marching is pretty easy to learn.

“The band teachers make it more fun. Band is a new learning experience that I hope to enjoy in high school and will likely play in college,” Sidebottom said.

Chrisanna Sidebottom is president of the Booster Club.

“I love the band. My son, [Rey Martinez], plays snare drum and Kylie plays flute. I’m so excited to see them perform, and the band is going to be better than it has been in years,” said Sidebottom.

Donations are welcome, she added.

“We’ll use them to feed these kids on home games. We’re also looking for ways to fund the band to grow and support whatever they need. These band kids deserve all the support we can give them,” she said.

The Booster Club will have a booth and be selling band swag at home games.

Susan Davidson is the color guard coach. She teaches Middle School English.

“When I was in high school, this was my creative outlet, so I’m excited to share this with younger generations,” said Davidson. “They’re learning fundamentals, how to keep time with music and dance moves. They’re catching on really fast."

Senior Kylee Murphy said color guard gives her somewhere to put all her feelings during the day.

“It gives me an outlet and it’s fun bonding with people and learning new things. We’re getting to make a second family,” said Murphy.

Hailey Watkins, eighth-grade color guard member, describes the other members "like family."

“The flags are fun to swing,” said Watkins.

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