Big Red Marching Band sticks to tradition this season

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Parkersburg High is a more traditional band than most. They still march in a militaristic style and this year they’re playing some classic songs. Tradition and warm sounds are why they’re one of this week’s bands of the week.

“We’re a military style band, and we’re the only one left in the state, I’m pretty sure. And we march differently than like, South would. So, South has flags and a lot more, they have more of a theme going on, and we’re more precise I’d say. And just like, strict lines, kind of,” said Ally Haymaker, the flute section leader.

And even though they march precisely, the band is spicing things up on the field this year.

“I think it’s more clean cut this year. It’s very… We do a lot of turns, and we do crossovers and I think it really surprises the crowd because they’re used to us just marching, but this one has a little more taste to it,” said Haymaker.

Crossovers are relatively new for the band. The junior class has never done them.

“All sections are in two lines on each side of the football field. We kind of have to meet in the middle, crashing into each other and move to the opposite side. It’s, It’s really hard because half of them cannot move while we’re moving forward. We cannot divert away while the others have to move. It’s really hard not to just side step and let them pass,” said Alex “Benny Goodman” Pifer, a clarinet player.

And though the band is a military style band, they still know how to have some fun.

“Mr. White is so fun as a band director. He knows how to take a joke, which is fun. So, like, the kids can kind of tease him sometimes, but then whenever it’s time to really like settle down and get to work, we know to listen to him. He’s very cool about that,” said Chloe Greynolds, a clarinet player.

Matching their traditional marching, the band is playing some very traditional music, including “Amazing Grace.”

“It’s been really interesting because, it takes a lot of hard work to march slowly and still look good. But it’s really amazing when we do it for the crowd, because they’re like ‘wow, they can do that,’ and it’s kind of more of an emotional piece, so it kind of draws that out too.” said Haymaker.

The Big Red Band will be joining Parkersburg South on the field at halftime on Friday.