WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE. The Valley Heights Pep Band keeps it going at the basketball home games. Composed of the high school and junior high bands, there are many members under the direction of Kim Oatney. A lot of practice goes into making a spectacular performance for not only the crowd, but also the players. “I really enjoy the band playing when we come out to play. It gets me excited and focused to play the game,” says sophomore, Sam Vermetten.
One difficulty in the system is that junior high and high school bands have separate hours dedicated to band, so they don’t get to practice together often. Megan Gray, junior, and clarinet player, says, “My favorite part about playing at games is that I get to interact with the junior high kids while teaching them and helping them, that means a lot.” Even though the two groups don’t get to practice together often, they still create a seamless “show” every home game.
“Our pep band has been busy since December playing home basketball gigs and a pep rally here and there. They have a folder of approximately thirty pep band tunes they need to know for each game. Each gig is different because you never know if you will have a full drum section, or brass, or woodwind, so our sound changes from gig to gig,” says band director, Oatney. Whether or not the Mustangs win or lose, the band is there to fire up the crowd and support the teams. Oatney continues, saying, “Our students in band are very dedicated and hardworking, I really enjoy listening to them improve each time they play.”