Most everyone in band would agree that coming into the band program for the first time as a freshman can be frightening. The scariest thing is having the group of people expand by more than 400 percent, moving from roughly 25 kids in a typical eighth grade band social group all the way to more than 100 kids in the Emerald Regiment. One of the most intense things is having to learn a completely new skill while also trying to perfect the skills they’ve been working on since sixth grade. Adding the marching component to playing can be very difficult for the first year, but over time most everyone gets the hang of it. “At first coming into band was very intimidating,” freshmen Shanley Silvey said. “The beginning of the marching season is very stressful. You’re expected to
learn all these new skills quickly, and it’s all overwhelming.” There are some rare cases where a student will either transfer from another
school as a sophomore or a junior and will have to go through their “first year in high school band” experience, which can be intimidating.
Sophomore Matt Luke had his first year in the band program this year after he moved from Edwardsville, Illinois. Once he got the feel for the co-curricular class, it became much easier, and he felt very welcomed by the people in the program and to his new high school. “Coming into the band, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had my doubts and my hopes, but once I was introduced into the band program, however, my hopes were confirmed,” Luke said. “I was treated not as an outsider but as a friend. Everyone was incredibly welcoming in the time I spent getting acquainted with the school, and I’m grateful to the school’s staff and students for their kindness.” Then there are some first-time members who have no worries in terms of being social because they’re in high school with a few familiar faces. Some are also excited to take the next step in their musicianship and become a part of the top bands at RBHS like the wind symphony or the jazz ensemble. “In the eighth grade band, most people are not very invested in music, so it was
really exciting to get to become a part of all the top ensembles at RBHS,” freshman Luke Milyo said. “I think the best part of band for me has been the community, which has developed as result of all the
time we spent together marching, playing jazz and going on field trips to band competitions.” Overall, most freshman have a positive experience with their first year in the program, and 25 are continuing with the Emerald Regiment next school year. Socially, band is one of the most inviting places to be as an underclassmen, and most of them
love it. “Over time you get the hang of how everything works; you have the time to really enjoy the whole atmosphere of being in band and making new friends,” Silvey said. “It’s a very good program to be a part of, and I’m glad I’ll get to be a part of it