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Marching Under the Lights


By: Sarrah Cochran  

The Waynesboro High School marching band has been marching onto the field for many football seasons, including the years where the band would stand still on the field and play their show. That all changed when Mr. Keith Smith was hired as the band director nearly 5 years ago because the marching band started to move more and more during their shows. Now the marching band plays at halftime nearly every home game.

There have been numerous difficulties in getting the marching band onto the football field to practice their show, including scheduling conflicts with JV football games and inclement weather. But Smith has gotten it all to work out.

“The band practices twice a week, on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, and it’s the same show we use for competitions, so we practice continuously throughout the season. And there’s always room for improvement,” Smith said. The WHS marching band has grown and shrunk over the last few years, but the size of the band is no big obstacle for Smith.

“At the beginning of the year, I was worried because we lost tons of talented seniors last year, but as we started practicing, I realized it’s easier to practice with a smaller band. This year is a lot about rebuilding,” Smith said. At home football games the crowd has always been really enthusiastic, especially with Waynesboro High School having many different clubs and groups that keep the crowd hyped–including the marching band.

Another important group to the marching band at Waynesboro High School is the football team. Without them, there would be no halftime shows for the marching band. The year the Waynesboro football team went to playoffs, Coach McDaniel told Smith that the football team missed the band playing for them while the football team played on the field.

“The band helps pump the crowd up when the team makes a good play or when something happens to change the momentum of the game at the particular time in the game,” Coach McDaniel said . McDaniel has been very cooperative when it came to having the fields lined for the games and the band to practice on in years past.

Riley Randall, a former football player, said“I can’t speak for everyone, but I enjoy [the marching band playing during halftime].” Randall played football his freshman year but didn’t try out for the team this year for personal reasons. Both Smith and Randall agreed that if the band didn’t play at the football games, people would notice.

“If the band didn’t play, I would hear from a number of parents about why their kids weren’t playing at halftime,” Smith said. Randall included the football team when he answered, “The crowd would really notice. The football players would notice a little bit, but they are really focused on the game.”

There was unanimous agreement that if the band wasn’t playing through the football game and at halftime it would be noticed. The band helps keep the crowd pumped up by playing songs people recognize such as “Ex’s and Oh’s” by Elle King, the Game of Thrones theme song, and “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled. The marching band show this year is called Shades of Latin named for the Latin themed music they are playing. Don’t miss their halftime show at the home games!

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