The fifth and sixth graders involved in band at elementary schools that feed into SME performed in the second half of the girls varsity game and the first half of the boys varsity basketball game last Friday. The students met at 5 p.m. in the band room to rehearse the pep songs and had a pizza dinner in the cafeteria before performing.
“I’m a little nervous, but I’m excited,” Prairie fifth-grader Hadley Chapman said as she got ready to perform.
Assistant band director Melissa Athon teaches band to fifth and sixth graders at Prairie, Belinder and Tomahawk. She said this was an important experience for the kids in band.
“This gives them a chance to interact with older peers on the same instrument that that they play,” Athon said. “A lot of them may be struggling a little bit and something like this helps put things together and solidify the music for them in a positive way.”
High school band students recalled their first time performing at East games as fifth graders and how it gave them a sense of what it is like to be in band.
Seven year band member junior Jessie Peterson said, “I remember when I went through this myself and doing it for the first time. It’s really neat for [the kids] to be able to see the high schoolers and what they’re going to be able to do in a few years.”
The high school band students, including sophomore band member Oscar Swartz, sat with the fifth and sixth graders to help them learn the new songs they would be playing that night.
Swartz said, “It’s helpful for [the kids]. I did it when I was younger and it really got me excited to be involved.”