Bison Brigade fires up season with new leaders, members

Group ready for first halftime show



The band hits the new turf on the football field for an on-field practice. The group will perform at halftime Friday night in Centerville.

Nicollette Arabie, Editorial Team

Even before football and volleyball teams started two-a-days this season, the Brigade was working together on their halftime show for the fall. The summertime hours are essential to their show since the Brigade is made up of both junior high and high school students who are on different campuses during the school day. The amount of growth in the group this year is in part due to the number of junior high students stepping up to contribute to the halftime sound.

Eighth-grader Genevieve Arabie is marching for the first time this year.

“I don’t really know what to expect, but I think that we’re doing really good on the first and second movements,” Arabie said. “I think we’ll have it great by the first football game.”

According to band leaders, this year’s group of newcomers is doing its part to make the band as strong as possible.

“I’ve never seen a group of beginners catch on this quick to marching and adapting,” assistant drum major Mildret Carrillo said. “It’s so impressive. The number of marchers is phenomenal, especially considering almost everyone has been present at every practice.”

For the leadership team, the challenge sometimes staying on top of teaching the new members all of the things that have become habits for them over their time in the Brigade.

“The biggest challenge thus far would have to be catching the new band members up on things they haven’t learned yet,” drum major Emma Cocking said. “You always forget to mention one thing or another because it’s something you do without even thinking about it.”

But what they are learning, they are learning well.

“We have been trying a variety of things and they have done a great job by catching on quickly,” Carrillo said. “The new members have definitely impressed Mr. V and leadership tremendously considering the short time they’ve been on the field. I can’t wait to see what they bring this year.”

Along with all of the new members, the band also gained a new leadership team this season. With both drum majors from last year graduating, three students auditioned to replace them, and Cocking won the spot with Carrillo working as her assistant.

“I am honored to help lead our band into a new chapter,” Cocking said. “It’s amazing to see how quickly the new band members have caught on, and I hope that I can help the band reach its full potential.”

Both drum majors have big goals for the group.

“This being my first year as the assistant drum major is just a process of learning to lead and adjusting to the position,” Carrillo said. “I plan to help our beginners be more successful and respectful, to have marchers play with a bigger sound and possibly leave high school with them doing twice as good.”

And while the leaders have been impressed with the new Brigade members, the band members have been impressed with their new leaders, as well. They have different styles, but they work together well.

“Emma does more directing from the sidelines by helping with counts, while Mildret does more hands-on work helping the new kids figure out the actual marching,” Arabie said. “I really like both of them.”

With the season off to a great start, the group has high expectations for themselves as they near the first halftime show of the season.

“I hope that each and every member grows as a person,” Cocking said. “I hope that we continue to learn and improve as the season continues. It’s going to be a great year.”