Band makes a memorable mark on its members

Friendships and traditions are at the center of the experience.

Two band students at the Rogers Homecoming football game.

Photo by Madeline Wright

Two saxophone players pose right before playing at half-time.

What makes up a band? The simplest answer would be instruments and people. However, after talking with former and current students from the Rogers band, it started to become clear that there is more to it that usually goes unnoticed and has made quite a big impact on people’s lives.

“Music was really really special to me from a young age, and it just became everything I loved and all the people that I wanted to be with, and I just found the place where I belonged,” band alumnus Lauren Cosby said. “I love the people that I’ve met, I love making beautiful moments within everybody’s hearts and moving people through sound and this worldwide thing that we can all have together no matter who you are.”

Throughout every student there seems to be a common theme when it comes to their favorite thing about being in band. The close-knit community and sense of comradery within the band created from all the time spent working together to create music has become the best part of band for a lot of students, and it can be easily spotted in the many friendships created through band.

Band student Ben Early said, “Even with all the members you already have, we all know each other, we all play with each other, making music is sort of a beautiful thing in that way.”

As for band traditions, there aren’t any official traditions besides a newly started annual tradition where band alumni come to the Rogers homecoming football game to perform in the band and in a parade at half-time. While this is the only formal tradition, within the dances, cadences, and pep tunes, students have established their own sense of tradition with each other. For example, certain chants or dances during sport games, one of these chants being from the song, “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel. Even with this, these “traditions” have room to become unique to each group with every year brining new students.

“It’s all in the music, they’re all pretty much a yearly thing — although these things stay the same, it’s sort of a new group every year and that’s what I find really special about it,” Early said.

It’s also important to recognize the person responsible not only for the musical performance of the band, but also for building the foundation of the band and one of the most influential components when considering what makes up a band: director Stephen Pickard. Throughout every student, previous or present, it was apparent that Pickard has impacted his students in a way they will remember for a long time.

“We get to do something on campus that nobody else does, and everybody is pivotal to the success of the groups,” Pickard said. “It’s just a great opportunity I think to teach students teamwork and that every single person matter.”