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MHS leadership having good influence on MMS band

Bands will march in
Old Settlers’ Day Parade

Staff writer

Since the school year started, the Marion High School and Marion Middle School bands have been practicing marching together a couple of times per week to prepare for the Old Settlers’ Day Parade.

The interaction between the high school and middle school students has really improved the middle school students’ focus, band director Shanna Jolliff said recently.

“They’re realizing this is very important to some people, because they see how serious the high schoolers take it,” she said.

She said that the example set by the high school band has been especially helpful, because the middle school students have known and looked up to the older students for a long time.

There were a couple of middle school students who acted out a lot in class at the start of the school year, Jolliff said, but after practicing with the MHS band, she saw a sudden improvement in their classroom behavior.

The focus by the middle school band is important, because they will be bolstering the high school band’s numbers Saturday in the Old Settlers Day Parade. The MHS band has fallen to about 20 members because of competing demands for students’ time, Jolliff said. Meanwhile, the MMS band has about 45 members who show a lot of talent when they’re focused.

“All these kids can really play,” she said. “They’re very fundamentally sound. They’ve been taught very well for years.”

Marching in the parade is good for the band, Jolliff said, because music is made to be heard. Her goal for the parade is for the band to play all of its songs by memory.

“We practice it memorized in class, and they can do it,” she said.

In other band news, the MHS band played at the Kansas State Fair on Sept. 14 in Hutchinson.

“They performed for an audience of about 500 people,” Jolliff said. “They really did very well.”

Last modified Sept. 22, 2011

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