You’ve probably heard the name Mr. Washam drifting through the halls, uttered by someone from the music department at one point or another. He’s the school’s band director, and with the winter concert still two months away—come see it on December 20th!—he’s doing everything he can to recruit more people. If you hang with that type of crowd, you’ve definitely been told once or twice to give band a try, and there’s no better time than to start right now.

Obviously, the band kids and Mr. Washam are somewhat biased in the statement that ‘band is best’, but it is actually lots of fun. Band encourages you to forge friendships across all grades, ages, and genders, because, more than anything, you learn to work together for the performance at the end of the run. Studies also show that students who develop a relationship with music in settings like band, orchestra, and choir are able to grasp a better understanding of the music they listen to on a daily basis. The ability to play an instrument allows for the brain to improve its hand-eye coordination, a skill that is necessary for students as they enter higher levels of education and/or their future plans. Along with this, it’s been proven that music helps students in academic settings, as students who can read music and play an instrument tend to be able to focus longer and think faster.

Besides concert band, Mr. Washam is also in charge of both the marching and the jazz band, two extracurriculars that many band kids double up in. Even more so than band, marching band forges closer relationships within the group, as you not only work together to make beautiful music, you also work together in order to put on a spectacular halftime show. Marching band is one of the most popular aspects of band, take it from me, as I’m not even in it. It’s too
late to join marching band now, but preparations for next school year begin in the spring of this one, so be on the lookout if you’re considering it.

Jazz band takes up the rest of Mr. Washam’s time once marching band ends in November, and it is one of the most fun times of the year. With jazz band, most often there is only one person per part, meaning that the twenty(ish) kids in it have to work even closer in order to produce music worth performing. Typically, jazz band is more expressive, each song featuring several solos, and every member of the group matters just as much as the next one. The competitions are also a bonus, just because they’re fun, friendly and everyone has a fantastic time.

With the winter concert still two months away, you still have plenty of time to come down to the band room and pick up an instrument, and so give it a try and you might find yourself enjoying it.

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