Bandtasia is the perfect way to end the marching season for the band


Lauren Batterbee

You don’t want to miss this year’s Bandtasia on October 21st!

Last year, senior Jack VanderVeen made a goal for himself. Whether it be through school or something else, he was determined to push himself beyond his comfort zone. 

In the end, he decided to try out for drum major. A few weeks later, he discovered he had gotten the role. 

Throughout this year, being one of two FHC marching band drum majors has kept Jack busy. Whether it be practicing on Monday and Tuesday nights, band class during school, or Friday night football games, band has become a large part of his life, and directing the band has been something he has grown to love. 

“[Being a drum major has] been really fun,” Jack said. “I really enjoy it. I think it’s definitely been good for me. Pushing myself into a leadership role is something I wouldn’t usually do, but I really enjoyed it.”

After spending so much time together through practices and performances, the marching band as a whole has grown extremely close to each other. Jack, being a drum major, was able to experience this on a large scale since he was able to interact with all of the sections of the band. 

“[I’ll miss the] family aspect of [marching band],” Jack said, “and getting to know people—especially the underclassmen—[that] I wouldn’t usually talk to.”

One of these underclassmen he has been able to interact with is freshman Zach Ruffer. 

Zach plays the mellophone during marching season and was able to experience what being a part of the band really means. 

“I’ve always liked watching [the] marching band,” Zach said, “because my brother [senior Ben Ruffer is in it], so it was cool to actually get the experience [of actually being a part of it].” 

As he is a freshman, Zach’s marching band career has been pretty normal, other than a modified band camp. However, anyone associated with the band last year has had a more unusual experience.

Band director Laura Zilhaver was grateful for this year and everything that came out of last year’s hiatus. 

“We’re having a great season,” Zilhaver said. “It’s nice to be back to some sort of normalcy with it. We really missed being able to practice and perform last year so it means a lot to have been able to do what we’ve done this season.” 

The conclusion of every marching season has always been Senior Night at the last home football game with Bandtasia soon following it. 

Bandtasia merges the marching season with the concert season. It is a night for the band to be in the spotlight and for them to show the community what they have been putting in several hours of work each week for. 

The show includes the songs they have been playing at the football games with additional songs sprinkled in the lineup. Throughout the night, there are activities for young children and performances from the marching band, the Color Guard, and the jazz band. According to Jack, it’s “the highlight of the season.”

For Zach, as is the case with the other freshmen and sophomores, this is the first time he will be the one performing, but it won’t be the first time attending the show. 

“I’m excited because I’ve seen it so many times in previous years,” Zach said. “I can’t wait to actually participate in it.”

Whether the performers have been a part of the band for years or they are just joining this year, Bandtasia is a performance where the audience can focus on the band, and they can truly get the recognition they deserve.

“Bandtasia is special because it is the grand finale of the season,” Zilhaver said. “It’s just a fun way to put a bow on the season. There’s something different about being inside and having all of the lights and the visual effects and the Color Guard up close and personal.”