Only a measure of time: senior band members move on

The senior band members of2012

The senior band members of 2012

Monica Vandenbil
Editor in Chief

May 18, 2012, marks the end of thirteen years of primary education for approximately 190 seniors.  For a select few, however, it also marks a bittersweet end to a special part of life.

This school year, there are sixteen senior band members.  All of them have been a part of the high school band for the past four years, and many have been key components of the Hamilton Bands since their matriculation into the school band class in sixth grade. However, for several of the band seniors, the end of high school does not equate the end of their musical careers.

Courtney Long, a Hamilton band member for five years, plans to continue her band experience at Western Michigan University next year as part of the marching band. She played clarinet in the Hamilton Marching Band as a freshman, but has been a drum major for the past two years. “I would love to be a drum major (at Western), but you have to start off with a musical instrument,” Long said. When asked what she would miss the most about her high school band experience, she said,”Probably the younger classmen friends I’ve made.”

Dominic Morlan also plans to continue with music at Western Michigan University next year.  While he’s been in band for eight years–three at Zeeland and five at Hamilton–he has expanded his musical experience beyond the traditional setting.

“I work with the seventh and eighth grade bands everyday and the sixth grade band on Fridays as part of my TA class,” Morlan said,“I like that it gives me a chance to experience leadership differently.”

Morlan has been the trumpet section leader for the past two years and says he, “excels at playing the high notes.”

Back on the woodwind side of the band, Erika Stroup will join the Ferris State University band during her freshman year of college.

“I enjoy the confidence (band) gives me and the rush I get from having a phenomenal performance,” Stroup said.  She started out on the alto saxaphone seven years ago and has also been a drum major for the past three years. While Stroup enjoys both concert and marching season, she said she prefers marching season because it’s where she’s learned the most about herself. “It isn’t easy being Drum Major like everyone thinks…not only do I have an audience watching, I also have everyone in the band counting on me. It’s a lot of pressure, but I love the challenge.”

One word that almost every band member uses to describe their group is “family”.  Every year, this family has to say goodbye to its most experienced and developed members as they move on to bigger things in life. However, the senior members can take comfort knowing that once a band member, always a band member, and they will always have a musical place to call home.


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