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Bands add to football experience

Sports fans fill the stadium seats during high school football season, but some members of the crowd could care less about the game.
“There’s a whole section usually in the stands that are band parents and band fans,” said Neil Underwood, director of North Lincoln High School’s Band.
The same could be said of East, West, and Lincolnton High.
These fans wait patiently for half time when they can see their children or friends play music for the crowd.
While the athletes rest, marching band members take the field in brightly colored uniforms. The colorguard wave flags in unison, and band parents throughout the crowd cheer.
“We provide the ongoing entertainment and hopefully hype the people up,” said Underwood.
Some spectators use that time to go buy nachos. Other football fans choose to stick around for the show.
Performing for this crowd is decidedly low pressure for band members compared to the competitions high school bands travel to on weekends.
“It’s more fun because it’s more relaxed,” said Fain King, a member of the Lincolnton High School band.
At competitions, band members march in the hot sun with the knowledge that their every move and note is being scrutinized by experts.
After performing at football games, however, the band members can be sure that their reviews will be good.
“Parents are going to say you do great no matter what,” said Fain.
People coming to the stadium to watch football and those coming to see the band aren’t at odds with each other. Both groups want to support their home team.
“I think the majority of people are there to see the football,” said James Turner, director of the Lincolnton High School band. “At a football game, we’re there to support our team and cheer them on.”
On occasion students even participate in both marching band and football games. These students save their musical skills for the competitions.
Trevor Scott, a junior at Lincolnton High School, practices football until 6 p.m. and then stays until 9 p.m. for marching band practice.
“My football friends joke with me about doing band, and my band friends joke with me about doing football,” said Trevor.
Because of his football duties, Trevor can’t participate in the half time shows, but he watches his fellow band members from the sidelines.
“I know what they’re going through. Marching band for that eight or 10 minutes is intense,” said Trevor. “Football is intense at times, but marching band for that eight or 10 minutes you go all out.”
Just as Trevor supports the band during half time, many band members enjoy watching the game on their time off.
“One of the best parts of marching band is you get to go to all the games,” said Jenny Lambirth, a band member at Lincolnton High School. “The band is really supportive of the team.”
Other band members could care less who wins or loses the game. For them, it’s all about the half time show.
“What’s the point of a football game without the band?” asked Fain. “That’s the only reason I go.”by Sarah Grano

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