The high school band at Highland Park has been busy over the past week getting ready for another exceptional season. Members of the 'Mean Sting' are more determined than ever. This year brings lots of changes including a new head band director, Kayla Driver, and an assistant band director, Jon Clifton. Other adjustments include 30 more band members compared to the previous school year, a new theme 'Phantom of the Opera,' and even two singers pairing with the band during football half-time shows.
The band is focused and excited for all the possibilities this season brings.
"All band camp we've been working on everything. The big thing is for our kids to come together as a team, much like a football team," said band director, Kayla Driver.
An analogy some of the band members can relate to extremely well, balancing both football and band. Six of the band members are also part of the Highland Park football program. The assistant band director went on to say about one-third of the band is also part of a Highland Park athletic team, debunking the myth that it is impossible to juggle both a sport and be a member of the band.
"You really got to time your days carefully. Most people think itâ??s a hard thing, but really it is not that hard. You can do it as long as you can put your mind to it," said football player and band member, Courtney Gravely.
One goal the band has is earing straight superiors at competition. When a band goes to competition, they are ranked in mulitiple categories from one to five, five being the worst. If a school band is to earn a one in every categorey, they then earn straight superiors. Something the school hasnâ??t achieved in years.
"We've never got straight ones in marching since I've been in band. So this year we are very excited because I think that we have a very good shot of landing that this year," said senior band member, Jessica Andersen.
Right now, Driver says the band's motto is shoot for the moon,' but if they don't earn straight superiors it isn't the end of the world. At the end of the day, she says it is really all about making music and having fun.