Preparing for Band’s Biggest Competition


Charlotte Potter

Members of Lobo Regiment are pictured practicing marching, foot timing, and step sizes in preparation for regionals.

     Like many other schools, Conifer High School has a marching band. The marching band has taken the name Lobo Regiment; Lobos being their school mascot and regiment being another name for a sort of army. One of the biggest competitions the band goes to is regionals, which determines whether or not they get into the state competition. Lots of preparation goes into that.

     “We got into the swing of just learning drill and music so quickly that we kind of lost track of the fundamentals. Like anything, whether it’s music or sports, you have to have really strong fundamentals before you can add onto those,” director and teacher, Sean Cartner, said. “We did a lot of these exercises to kind of refresh the kid’s memories and engage them.”

     Cartner planned lots of extra practice for the band in order to get that extra prep and re-engage their minds on the more basics of marching band. This meant him taking actions like adding another hour onto practice and even giving them a 9-5 Saturday practice to ensure they’re ready.

     Bailey Hennes is a junior who is part of the band and plays the instrument the mellophone; she describes this as “the marching french horn.” Hennes, while nervous, still believes the band will do well at regionals and at least make it to state.

     “More of our band is completely new this year because the people who are sophomores now didn’t get to do it as freshmen last year. We have to put in more work, but I think, hopefully, that means we do better,” Hennes said. “I think we’re going to do better (than freshman year). I feel better at least for myself.”

     A big part of the marching band is the drum major. Drum major does a lot of carrying out instructions for the band, as well as conducting and watching over them. Conifer’s drum major is junior, Carley Getz.

     “As drum major, I think we’re doing incredible with what we have,” Getz said. “Over half our band is new and they are all working hard to ensure we have a quality show, which is awesome to see.”

     Having such an important job, she has to think about a lot when it comes to practice and competition. 

     “As much as I’d like to say I’m completely confident, regionals is terrifying. It’s the most high-stress competition of the year and I have the ability to make everything go wrong if I forget a signal or conduct the wrong beat. I’ve been doing lots of conducting to try to prepare,” Getz said.

     Overall, the band has been putting in lots of effort and work in order to make their show show-stopping on Tuesday. They’re all hoping that this effort is seen with their performance.

     “I think the students really stepped up big time the last couple days. We’ve had a couple of good talks that got people remotivated to practice a little bit harder and that has really shown off,” Cartner said.