Bailey Crepinsek

Dear future Eagle Pride Band members,

Nearly 10 years ago, my mother would drag me to the football games just to watch my brother perform at the halftime show, and then leave right after. Only, it was never a chore to come, because I was always fascinated by the marchers, even before I had picked up the saxophone. I always knew I would be part of marching band, but I never understood what it really was and how immensely it would change my life for the better. I came in as a stoic saxophone player who rarely said a word, and somehow being in band brought me out of my shell as a confident, enthusiastic band geek.

The past three years I have been surrounded by fabulous musicians and fantastic friends. It’s a big jump going from only a couple friends to such a mass amount as 150! Even then, you really get to know their personalities, their likes, and their dislikes. We spend anywhere between 7-13 hours on a normal week rehearsing together, which is most likely the reason we are so close. I have been involved in a number of clubs in high school, and none of them compare to the family atmosphere of our band. On top of the bonds we make, marching band shapes us into natural leaders, preparing us for life after high school. Mrs. Britton will teach you so much more than just how to play notes, but how to bring art, love, and happiness to the world and those around you. I couldn’t be more excited about this year if I tried, because I believe this year will have the most positivity and love running through it than my past three years. This isn’t to put down the past years, I just know from experience that each year outdoes the last. Of course there will be days where we sweat more than we thought was possible and our legs are numb, but we feed off of each other’s energy to get through those practices and enjoy the hard, dedicated work that is more than rewarding enough in the end.

What seems to be forgotten is that we are more than just musicians, but performers with the field as our stage. Throughout my career as a musician, I’ve performed with a number of marvelous groups and alongside some of the best musicians, but the only performances that were truly unique and empowering to me were our marching band shows. This is the only group I have partaken in where you can completely feel the passion and connection your co-performers have towards the show as it takes place, and I wouldn’t give it up for any Broadway performance or a stadium gig. There are performers who just go through the motions, and then there are performers who always bring the show to life and make it fresh for each performance. We are the band who is consistently adding to our show to keep it new and alive every week, because that is what gives meaning to what we do. We do it for the audience along with for ourselves. I have goosebumps running down my arms as I’m currently thinking back to my freshman year at NAU Band Day when the show seemed to click with everyone and I was purely elated while marching off the field. These moments are so unique to someone who is a performer, and what I will cherish when I think back on by days at Sandra Day O’Connor. To be honest, band and choir will be the only memories that will stick with me as I continue on with my life, because through music I made my friends and created these moments that are the utmost precious to me. I am ever so lucky to be one of your drum majors for this season and honored to be involved in the process for forming the bonds we will make this year!

Sincerely,
Your Drum Major
Bailey Crepinsek

 

Benjamin Pitts

Dear Future Eagles,

When I started high school, I was not in marching band. I only knew how to play electric bass, and was in orchestra learning to play upright. About a week into my freshman year, Mrs. Britton asked me to join marching band as the bass player in the frontline. Little did I know this would change my life.

I showed up to my first practice and found nothing but love and support. I was welcomed by everyone from my section, to the color guard, and the drum majors. I went O’Connor while all of my closest friends went elsewhere, so I was afraid of meeting new people. But when I joined band, I had been added to a family of 160 people all bonded together by their love for music and performing. Every section is unique, I’d know by being in both frontline and the tuba section, but they all come together, as one to perform these wonderful, creative shows we are given by our fantastic band director. I found my love performing after our very first performance. The uproarious applause we receive immediately after that last note rings will forever resonate in my head and push me to success. It’s a feeling I want to share with all future members of the Eagle Pride Marching Band.

Even better than the feeling of performing is knowing all your hard work has payed off. Every member of the band has the same fire in them that brings them to practice no matter how early it may start or how late it may end. They have the passion to make every run through a true performance no matter how exhausted they may be. Everyone performs for one another, and it’s this love that makes the experience of being an Eagle Pride Marching Band member so unique and special.

For those of you considering marching band as a class, don’t expect an easy credit. It’s not just playing while walking. You have to be willing to work hard every practice and be responsible for practicing on your own time. I promise you every ounce of effort you put into it is worth it. Marching band has been a life changing experience for me and many others. It’s an experience that one can only attempt to put into words but will never quite capture the true magic of living it. I met my best friends in band and made countless of great memories with them. I’m looking forward to one last year of memories, although they’ll last a lifetime, and hope, as one of your Drum Majors, I can make your experience in the Eagle Pride Marching Band just as phenomenal as countless other students through the years have been lucky enough to have!

Sincerely,
Benjamin Pitts
Drum Major