As they marched down the pathway to the stadium, the long hours of practice during the summer all come to fruition. Blake marching band plays an active role both inside and outside the Bengal community.
Leading the marching band is senior drum major Noah Johnson and senior assistant drum major Eva Salins. Johnson and Salins have both been in the band since their freshman year and put tremendous amounts of time and effort to achieve their current positions.
Mr. Barnes notes, “Both of them have been working hard since last year to get the band going.” He continues, “The two of them together [are] probably one of the stronger drum major pairs I’ve ever had in my entire teaching career at both of my schools.”
Beginning their season in August, the marching band represents Blake in parades, in football games and are able to reach an audience outside of the walls of the school and the parents of students.
The band also provides entertainment in the stands, plays drum cadences and pop tunes, and hypes the crowd up in assistance with the cheerleaders and the poms to build school spirit.
Johnson was the assistant drum major last year and has since been promoted to drum major. As drum major, Johnson leads students through practices, rehearsals, and games. He also conducts the music the band plays and the half-time show.
Salins serves as a tag team member, taking over for Johnson when he needs a break, conducting during the second quarter of football games. She notes that she has “always loved marching band,” continuing that she loves “being that role model for the kids who want to be in when they’re older, and being that leader for them.”
Even prior to attending Blake, Salins has had close ties to marching band since her older brother played in 2004. “He played the sousaphone and I saw Eva come around when he was in the band and she was just a little girl,” Eising added. “So to see her and her family circle back and, you know, give back to the Blake community is really special.”
Interestingly, Johnson and Salins have a pre-game routine that they do with the marching band. “[We] do this kind of pump me up exercise where they say, ‘Who’s got my back?’ and the whole band responds saying ‘I got your back!’ ” Salins says.
Community and friendship is a part of the culture in the band. “There’s always a shoulder to lean on when anybody needs it,” Mr. Eising says. “There’s a big sense of pride in what they do and comradery that comes with marching band.”