Band—More Than Just Music


Photo by Jessika Cole

Marching band members participating in their last rehearsal before their show.

Band is not your typical one-and-done class here at Bingham. It is something beyond quickly memorizing facts for a final to pass or staying up late submitting work before midnight hits. Being in band connects people to something greater than themselves and drives them towards success.

There are several Bingham bands and groups, including two concert bands, a jazz band, two percussion ensembles, two pep bands, a marching band, and a winter drum-line. 

Despite the pandemic, the bands are still able to rehearse, even though they still follow all of the COVID-19 protocols. They have also had to push through the difficulty of virtual classes when the school shifted to online learning for a few weeks. 

Something to recognize about the Bingham band groups is their dedication and resilience. Many of the members devote loads of time to their instruments and music. Specifically for marching band, they practiced three times a week for three hours each practice despite the weather. This adds up to over 400 hours for their season. 

Being a part of the bands takes time and forces students to have better time management skills. Mr. Graber, the Bingham director of bands, described how band students are dedicated to making time for their instruments.  

“Most students who say they don’t have time, really do if they are creative in making their schedule,” Graber said.  

Amme Swasey, a member of early morning symphony, wind symphony, and marching band said, “So much time goes into band… I know students who practice their instruments for [an hour or more] a day. It’s hard to overcome the amount of time it takes…, but I wouldn’t give music and band up for anything.” 

Although being a part of band is a huge time commitment, Swasey explains that the bonds you have with people and the friends you find make it worth the time. Students participate in it because it gives them joy and pushes them to be better. Spending so much time doing something they love makes up for the things they have to sacrifice. 

Jessika Cole, a member of early morning symphony, wind symphony, and a drum major in the marching band, said, “It has helped me feel like I am a part of something. I have met many new people and made some of my closest friends in it. For a couple months, I have spent over 12 hours at the school almost everyday and although it was busy, I had so much fun.” 

Not only have band members been able to create memories and new friends at school, they have been able to branch out into the community with their talents. Their abilities allow them to serve by playing for religious meetings, funerals, and other places. Band has also allowed students to take a step towards their future by providing jobs, scholarships, and performance opportunities.

Cole said, “I always encourage others to get involved in our school. Being able to be a part of something really helps you figure out what your role is and it’s a good way to distract yourself from the educational part of school that gets very stressful.”

Taking a band class and participating in a group gives students a deeper meaning and purpose in their lives. Specifically with the COVID-19 pandemic, band and music has had an important role for students. It has provided something to help students push through a difficult year.

Mr. Graber said, “Music is important because it gives students…the opportunity to relax, decompress, and do things they enjoy. They get to participate with students, and create and express themselves.”

This year has been different for the band groups in terms of performing for audiences. Many of them have not received as much attention because they have not been able to cheer on our athletes by playing at games or pep assemblies. However, their continuous hard work and abilities should not go unnoticed. 

Regional events are starting in March and continuing through May. Some of their performances are virtual, but many will be live performances. So let’s listen in to the announcements and follow their schedule to cheer them on and give them the recognition they deserve!