The 14-15 CCHS Marching Band section leaders, front row, from left: Asia Cutforth, Hannah Klein, Chloe Beardsley, Sadie Waltrip, Alice Haugland, Sydney Eiss, Brittany Berglund, Brooke Landoch, Katie MacQueen, Jordan Sailers, Megan Sochinski and Jill Kirchner. Back row, from left: Daniel Huff, Jonathan Peterson, Tristan Siddle, Joey Bretz, Jono Cooper, Aaron Klein, Luca Zocchi, Jake Staut, Andy Dolan, Ryan Beckett, Adam Chalek, Evan Haskell and Adam Bell
Cherry Creek High School band directors Tim Libby and Sara Wynes are outnumbered 70 to 1 when it comes to the 140 students in the CCHS Marching Band. That’s why the band’s 25 section leaders are so important.
“Student leadership is the key component to the success of the Cherry Creek Marching Band,” said Libby. “Not only does it make the teaching load manageable, it also gives the students more ownership in the program and develops skills they’ll need to be successful throughout their lives.”
Cherry Creek High School Marching Band section leaders demonstrate good marching technique during summer band camp on July 15.
The shirt worn by alto sax section leader Daniel Huff says it all.Courtesy photos
The section leaders attend (and pay their own way to) Band Leadership Training, held July 12-13 at the University of Northern Colorado. They work with national marching band experts and other marching band students from around the state to develop leadership skills and strategies.
“BLT has taught me how to lead others in a way that allows progress and hard, efficient work, while keeping everyone, including myself, happy,” said senior Andy Dolan, baritone saxophone section leader who has participated in BLT for three years. “It’s an experience that teaches skills in human relations that are vital to life regardless of occupation or position.”
The section leaders put those skills to work right away.
“The band leadership is essential to our success and this year’s group is off to a tremendous start,” said band director Sara Wynes. “They’ve been meeting with their sections throughout the summer and are really motivated to achieve a great season.”
Section leader Chloe Beardsley, third from right, checks in with members of the clarinet section during a brief break at summer band camp.
In addition to summer sectionals to learn the parade and competition music before the season starts, section leaders also help teach the intricacies of marching and maneuvering during a daylong summer practice, held on July 15.
“It’s a lot more work than I expected,” said freshman Haley Wartell, who plays clarinet. But with the help of her section leader Chloe Beardsley, she’s doing just fine. “I like playing a lot with the whole band. It sounded a lot better and a lot different.”
“They’re doing fantastic!” said Beardsley of her section. “They’re really strong players, really strong marchers.”
The band has two weeks of band camp in August before school starts, where section leaders make sense of things like drill pages and dot books, and help their sections stay hydrated when it’s hot and focused when fatigue sets in.
“It’s about letting others find the true power within themselves with your guidance,” said senior Jono Cooper, baritone section leader.
The section leaders have set their sights on successful season including a return to the Finals of the Colorado Marching Band Championships, which will be held Oct. 24-25 at Falcon Field at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
“I like the idea that I’m influencing someone’s future, said junior Joey Bretz, tuba section leader. “If they get dedicated and motivated it will help them improve, not just in marching band, but in life.”
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