Two Schools Band Together Under the Friday Night Lights

“It was a collaboration effort and it was really cool,” said Brandon Deike, the Forest Area Community Schools Band Director.

Two schools, both had something the other did not.

But through a collaborative effort, they helped out each other.

After Forest Area Community School’s football team canceled their season, their marching band would no longer be under those Friday night lights.

That was until Glen Lake Community Schools, a school without a marching band right now, invited Forest Area to play at their football game.

“He just said we don’t have a band and we’d like to get some interest in our music program and you don’t have a team and we’d like you to come play,” said Deike.

For Forest Area marching band members, who were competing Monday night in Cadillac, there’s nothing like playing under the Friday night lights.

However that wasn’t going to happen for this band this year.

“That would’ve given us no chance to perform in front of anyone and kind of knock the fears off,” said Deike.

That’s when Glen Lake Community Schools stepped up and offered them the spotlight on their turf.

“We’re looking for our band to be playing on Friday nights but in absence of that while we look to grow it, we thought it would be really cool to invite them to come play with us,” said Mark Mattson, the athletic director at Glen Lake Community Schools.

Both schools say, it was a night to remember.

“Two schools coming together. Our community and students supporting their cause to be able to play on a Friday night lights and their band coming up here to perform for our school in our community,” said Mattson.

Band members say they were nervous at first.

“Not knowing what the crowd’s reaction would be because we’re so used to our school’s reaction to our stuff,” said Katie Gillette, a senior in the Forest Area marching band.

They were welcomed with open arms.

“As soon as we got out there, the reaction from the crowd, it was like stepping into another world being able to show another school, another community what music is all about,” said Gillette.

“It was a wonderful experience to go out and see another community and show them what it’s like to have a music family,” said Lilley Koby, a senior in the Forest Area marching band.

Glen Lake says Forest Area is always welcome.

“They overwhelmed us and our people even today have been nothing but complimentary and wanting that Forest Area Warrior Band back with us anytime that we can possibly get them,” said Mattson.