Kingsley Band Plans to March at Football Games

Varsity high school football teams will take the field Friday for their first game of the season, but for some schools, halftime will be missing an important piece of the game… the marching band.

“Despite some hardships, they’re doing a good job and their spirits are going really well too,” says Brian Balch, director of the bands for Big Rapids Public Schools.

Balch says, this summer his 85-member marching band worked long and hard at band camp to make this fall halftime show amazing:

“That building toward a goal and that social element, that’s why the kids love marching band so much.”

However, the Big Rapids Marching Band won’t be seeing those Friday night lights.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association recently limited schools in phase four to only two tickets per player. For many schools, this means cutting marching bands from performing at halftime.

Balch says that won’t stop him from providing his students other opportunities to perform this fall. The band is already planning to do small performances for family members.

“Despite having this challenge, we’re resilient, we’re working hard on this and we want to be successful and give those kids that chance of having some kind of experience this fall,” says Balch.

In Mt. Pleasant, Band Director Matt Taton says they canceled their competitive season before it even began:

“Everything’s been frustrating, it’s disappointing, especially for our seniors. Our seniors haven’t done anything since March 14th.”

Taton says he hopes the competitive season is moved to spring so that his seniors have something to look forward too.

In Kingsley, band director Lance Dubay says their band will still march on this football season.

Since the district is in phase 5, the school was able to fit football, cheerleading and marching band into their 500-person limit.

Dubay says, “A football game isn’t a football game without a marching band, without the cheerleaders, so working to make sure the kids had that opportunity is really important to us. We worked hard to make sure that we could do that safely and we can.”

Because Dubay says at the end of the day, it’s about the kids:

“To get the kids together again to get to make music together and our band family together is awesome.”