Marching bands hit the field

They’ve practiced drills for weeks, sweated in 90-degree weather, and now they’re ready to take the field on Friday nights this fall in crisp uniforms.
No, it’s not area football teams; it’s the marching bands.
High school band and color guard members, as well as their directors, practiced for weeks in preparation of upcoming football and marching band season.
And just like the football players who make touchdown passes look effortless, band members, too, work hard to deliver an exciting performance every Friday night.
“When students do a performance well, it makes it look like its easy,” said Ted Neely, Fred T. Foard High School band director. “Really, they’re hiding all the complexities involved in a marching-band performance. There’s a lot of thinking involved, and you also add to it the marching aspect.”
Newton-Conover High School band director Haskew Smith is also preparing his band for Friday nights of marching and music.
“The most surprised people are the parents,” Smith said. “They see their kids performing and they say, ‘I didn’t know they could do that.’”
Like the Tiger Band, NCHS band marched in the Reunion Day Parade on Thursday, which involved a great deal of rehearsal and practice.
“More people see us that day than at the football games,” Smith said. “We spend a lot of time preparing for Soldiers Reunion, and then we turn around and get ready with the halftime show.”
NCHS’s halftime show has a World War II theme, complete with patriotic and jazz tunes.
“We played a piece of music last year … about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the kids really dug it,” Smith said. “It was fun to play, and it was meaningful, too.”