The Marching Bear Band: The Heartbeat of Halftime


Zoe Lachewitz

Pictured above is drum major Amelia Rampersad leading the Bear Band onto the field for a performance.

Riley Frutiger, Writer

The marching band is a staple of the Oakdale High School football halftime show. Every year, the band puts together a new show that will entertain the packed student section on Friday nights, the title of which is“Art in Motion”. It illustrates a group of first graders on their first trip to an art museum, during which some students are excited about the new experience and some completely uninterested.


The story of the piece allows the students to take on a very animated persona, giving them the opportunity to act while performing the choreography of the show, something they have taken in stride. 


Marching band is a performance based activity. Students not only have to be proficient in their instruments, but also need to be able to convey a story as well. Putting on a show for the student body during the pep rally or football games is one of the biggest parts of marching band, and one of the most exciting for the members.


“Just being able to have that opportunity to be in front of people and to be able to really put yourself in such a state where you have to be yourself and just be open in front of so many people,” is what Sophomore Joely Georgiana cited as the cause for this excitement.


However, it’s clear the marching band isn’t just about the halftime show; it’s about the connection between each band member. Chemistry is needed for any coherency in front of an audience, and it isn’t lacking in our bear band.


When Senior pit section leader Jack Bennett was asked what his favorite part of band was, he explained that it was, “The feeling of camaraderie and friendship that you get.”


While our Bear Band is a well oiled machine, it couldn’t be as incredible as it is without it’s director, Mr. Douglas Conrad. He, with collaboration from other band and art teachers from around FCPS, is responsible for the show concept and choreography, as well as the costume design.


Every little detail was considered, from the pieces chosen to play, to the flags the color guard members carry. It is a harmony of the discipline of the high school members and disorganization of the first graders they’re portraying.


The students involved in marching band work incredibly hard to maintain this, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by Conrad. He expressed that, “My favorite part is probably seeing the growth of our students from day one.”


Conrad continued, “Just to see how the students work together, become involved, and grow together individually and even as a group, is something really special to me.”


Don’t miss a performance of the Marching Bear Band at the halftime show at the next home football game.