GLASGOW — Kaemyn Houchens intently watched as members of the Scottie Band marched in the parking lot next to Glasgow High School on Wednesday morning. They weren’t holding their instruments, but they were trying to perfect their formations and unified movements.
Houchens, a rising senior at GHS, is in her second year as field commander.
“I love helping other people and motivating other people to bring out the best in themselves,” she said. “Field commanding is to be there for other people and to just let them know that they’re doing something right and that they have the ability to do what they put their mind to.”
During summer practice, Houchens said she is mainly looking for the band members to put in “a lot of effort and be willing to give everything you’ve got.”
“And just to try your hardest,” she added.
Hannah Meredith, a rising sophomore who plays the trumpet, is in her second year performing with the band.
“Everything is so rewarding,” she said, adding that all of their hard work eventually pays off.
Andrew West, a rising eighth-grader who plays the third bass drum in the drumline, is also a returning band member. He said the competitions at the end of the season are what he enjoys the most.
Ryan Potts, a rising senior who plays saxophone, has been marching with the Scottie Band for the past four years. The musical veteran said he really enjoys all of the friendships that are made and the unique qualities that playing in the band brings out in people.
Because of the sporadic rain on Wednesday, the band kept alternating between practicing inside and outside.
“Typically, we’re outside in the mornings and then inside in the afternoons,” GHS band director Jonathon Holmes said. “We try to stay out of the sun the hottest part of the day usually.
“We really try to spend a lot of time just on posture and technique.”
Holmes said they are fortunate in that a majority of the band members are returning from last year, “so we don’t have quite as much youth this year, which is kind of nice.”
“That kind of lets us start off a little stronger than normal,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of really good marchers this year — and players, too, which I’m really excited about.
“We’ve been really stressing a lot of fundamentals.”
Among those who were helping with practice was Noah Smith, who recently graduated from GHS.
Smith said he enjoys seeing “that everything keeps going.”
“Everything keeps on moving,” he said. “They’re still the same great Scottie Band they used to be.”
Holmes said he doesn’t usually have recent graduates help out with practice, “because I want them to have some time to grow and develop.” Smith was an exception.
“It’s exciting to see somebody like him come back,” Holmes said. “He’s going to school to be an educator. He wants to teach music.”
When observing the band at this point in the year, Holmes said he is mainly looking for confidence.
“Confidence is demonstrated performance,” he said. “So we’re trying to get them to understand that just doing something over and over doesn’t make it better. It has to be done correctly, and then you build the right kind of confidence — so we’ve really tried instilling that kind of behavior and attitude with our group this year.”
The Scottie Band will be hosting a family night performance at 7:30 p.m. on July 25 at the parking lot next to GHS. Their first official contest will be on Sept. 7 at GHS.
“We’re real excited about having a good group of bands and a great judging panel this year,” Holmes said. “Hoping that will bring in some more bands this year.”
The GHS band director said the Scottie Band has “gotten stronger every single year.”
“Our students here, they sacrifice a great deal to be a part of our band program,” Holmes said. “Many of our students have high ACT scores and they’re very strong academically. It really encourages me that our students are able to keep their grades up and they’re able to join together as a team.
“It really seems like it helps them in everything. Not just music, but it helps make them stronger in everything that they do — and they seem to take that along with them in their other classes. A lot of our students are involved musically in the chorus, and I always enjoy the camaraderie with the other teachers and seeing that they’re doing well in those activities, too.”