Meet the James Wood marching band. It's a big group with close to 100 members and almost a third are new to the group. Band Director Jeff Rutherford is not concerned with the less experienced members of his group. “You know we are a little bit young as far as experience is concerned but I have great leadership. It didn't make it such a big deal to have a young group.”
One of the leaders he is talking about is Junior Drum Major Isabella Shallenberger. I asked her how she felt after hearing those nice words. She was both humbled and speechless. “I don't know, I feel like, I really, I don't know, I’m not sure.” As a sign of a true leader, she is not afraid to point out her weaknesses. “Giving commands, I'm not so good at it. I can't work my diaphragm like that; it's hard for me to. I don't have the man voice to do it”, she jokingly adds.
It's a sunny, 80 degree day in the Valley and a far cry from last weeks monsoon which created a problem for a group that needs outdoor space to practice. “Unfortunately we had to spend a lot of times indoors last week. We are fortunate enough that our practice field is on the asphalt parking lot”, Rutherford says.
So the marching band could not march, but according to Junior Antonia Hernandez, it gave the members time to focus on the other equally important aspect of the marching band, the music. “If you can't learn the music then you just mess up the drills and it’s bad.”
After daily practices, it all comes together, and the feeling when it does....
“It's amazing, it's a good feeling that you know that you did something right”, Hernandez says proudly. It's that feeling that will help increase the bands chances of winning competitions both around the Valley and nationally.
© Copyright 2013 TV3 Winchester / Gray Television Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.