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Marching in the right direction

The success and future of the Pride of Westfield

Daniella Solares

Assistant Copy Editor

February 6, 2022

Courtesy of @westfieldrocksband on Instagram

The Pride of Westfield, Westfield’s band and guard, ended 2021 with great success, going as far as performing at Lucas Oil Stadium, and they hope to continue setting remarkable achievements this year.

With two State Championships and five state finalist groups, the Pride of Westfield has seen great accomplishments. However, this once seemed out of reach to the students in the program. AJ Lambert (11), who is involved in winter percussion, recalls his initial feelings.

“When I think back to my first year from the program, it seems unfathomable that we’d made such significant competitive strides,” Lambert said.

Even so, Fine Arts teacher Mr. Andrew Muth has quickly changed this narrative and instilled confidence into his students. Section leader and horn captain Anna Graber (11) recounts the students’ growth.

“I think we have grown pretty confident since Muth first came to the program,” Graber said. “I don’t think we quite expected to win state last winter, but… after the winter’s success and all the hard work we put in this fall season, we all were confident in our ability to win.”

Additionally, healthy challenges keep the members on their toes. Students particularly note Mr. Muth for pushing them to their fullest potential as their driving motivation.

“[Mr. Muth] kept us going in the right direction and kept us working, but all for a good cause,” Caleb McConkey (10) said.

But leadership has been uptaken by the students as well. And this leadership in various places, combined with the safe and familiar environment, has paved a path for success this year. McConkey expressed his gratitude for his leaders.

“Bree Clark and Chase Davis… were my section leaders last year that taught me to march and taught me well,” McConkey said. “They are good leaders and the best friends.”

The competitions themselves are extensive and filled with passionate performances. The schedule is very rigid, and students must scramble to get into position. Just this positioning takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make things flow. Drum major Rebecca Rust (11) describes the rush during competitions.

“You’ll only get so many minutes in visual warmup, so many minutes to transit, etc.,” Rust said. “You’ll also have a time limit on the field, so we have to make sure we’re [being] efficient getting on and off the football field.”

As for the upcoming season, Westfield bands and guards want to take the next big step, Graber explains.

“We are planning on competing at Winter Guard International this spring and at Bands of America this fall,” Graber said. “It would be really awesome if we did [well] at these events because of the big stage and all the attention it would bring to the program.”

With that said, visualizing success can only go so far. Rust describes the action it will take to get there.

“The graduating members from last year and the upperclassmen from this year have truly solidified choosing excellence within this program,” Rust said. “We hope to hand that way of thinking to the future band members that will carry on this program farther than we ever could.”

The Pride of Westfield wants its legacy to live on. The students and teachers know what they have is special.

“It’s just a big family,” McConkey said. “Everyone knows each other and [gets] along.”

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