Marching band focuses on school spirit after competition season is cancelled

Senior+brass+leader+and+baritone+player%2C+Kalea+Watson%2C+practices+%22Jungle+Boogie%22+with+the+wind+ensemble.+

Madeleine Nseir

Senior brass leader and baritone player, Kalea Watson, practices “Jungle Boogie” with the wind ensemble.

After a tough decision, the Arizona marching band organizations decided to cancel all in-person events for the 2020 season. Perry’s assistant band director, Benjamin Sampayan, shared how the band will still be active at school while Puma Regiment members shed an optimistic light on their new experience. 

Brandon Kiesgen, head band director, and Sampayan postponed the band’s 2020 competition field show to 2021. Without a field show to produce, Sampayan explains that the marching band has been, “shifted to emphasizing our traditional role within the school atmosphere.” The band is planning to perform their classic stand tunes at football games, focusing on keeping the school’s spirit alive. 

When asked if this season may affect next season, Sampayan said, “The experience this year will undoubtedly affect the band next year, as each year affects the next. What this situation has done is highlight the depth of that possibility.” Current freshmen, since they have not participated in a field show production, will not have the same experience as the other members, along with the incoming freshmen of next year.

Band members are continuing to stay positive as they have recently begun in-person practices. Junior clarinet member, Jessica Peace, notes, “A big advantage is honestly being able to even go to band practice with everything going on.”

Camaraderie has always been a huge factor in the band community. Senior woodwind leader, Gabriel Hammond, expresses his thoughts on the situation, “My biggest concern is to be able to provide everyone with the fun experiences of being in band while also being able to ensure everyone’s safety.” 

Still, the directors and members are working to provide a memorable experience. Hammond names what he thinks are the biggest advantages of the situation, “Having a lot of personal time so individuals can work on their craft” and that “members will value future seasons more.” 

Sampayan states, “If we focus on culture before competition, I am confident that we will see competitive results in time. But more importantly, we bring dignity to our members, grow their leadership potential, and see them leave our program better equipped to impact their community.” The band will be making their year’s debut on Friday, October 2nd at the first football game with a plethora of new tunes.