This is everyone (180-200 people, grades 9-12) who are in “Band” in the fall. It is one big group of woodwinds, brass, percussion and color guard. This group performs at home football games, the Grand Ledge and MSU Marching Band Invitational, Homecoming Parade, Pep Assemblies, etc. The group operates in the fall during football season, and then becomes dormant until the next fall. Class period for grade 9 is 3rd hour, grades 10-12 is 4th hour.
The Drum Major The Okemos Band has a longstanding tradition of producing exceptional Drum Majors. This student leader is, in effect, a student conductor and assistant director for the Marching Band. He or she has a great impact on over 150+ other students’ public performances. Many of the band’s finest musicians and most effective leaders aspire to this position.
Any sophomore who is interested in trying out for the position of Assistant Drum Major needs to carefully consider the significant amount of time and effort to fulfill the responsibilities of the position of Assistant Drum Major and, ultimately, that of the Drum Major during their senior year. In March or April of each year, Assistant Drum Major Tryout Clinics will be held, with actual tryouts held sometime in April during the regular band class in front of the entire band. The band votes via secret ballot, and the results are tabulated and announced the following day.
Drum Line or Marching Percussion All percussion players (including incoming 9th graders) play an audition in the spring to determine instrumentation. Instruments used are: Snare Drum, Tenor Drums, Bass Drum, and Cymbals. In addition, these players sometimes play Sideline Percussion instruments to add variety to the music and the musical experience.
Color Guard The Color Guard is a group of approximately 16 girls who use flags and other props to add color, motion and choreography to the Marching Band’s shows. All of the members must be regular playing members of the woodwind sections of the band. Students may tryout at the end of their freshman, sophomore, or junior years. This group is led by the Color Guard Captain (and, in some years, Assistant Captains) who is selected by the band director. The Color Guard Captain holds a very important leadership position, coordinating personnel, equipment, sectionals and flag routines. A part-time instructor for the Color Guard is hired to write routines for the “guard.” Members of the group also regularly help to write routines.