During the 2019- 2020 school year, Independence High School band has been doing a phenomenal job because of their hard work and devotion to their music.
Band director, William Meldrum, has been a band teacher since 1991 and has been working at Independence for four years. Meldrum explained that the year has been “very successful. We placed well at our competitions. We encouraged the fans and players at the football games. We celebrated with the students at assemblies. We entertained the K-8 graders at Discovery. Most importantly, the kids had a good time.”
He said so far this year, the band’s biggest accomplishment was “showing the school, community and state that Independence is a great place with great kids. Nobody works harder than us. Nobody has more fun than us. Independence is a great place to be.” Meldrum also shared that band placed as one of the top bands in Arizona!
Sophomore Jesus Tena is a tuba and trumpet player that has been in band since fourth grade. He said, “Joining band has led me to meet great people and has allowed me to call them my friends.” His message to students who are considering joining band in upcoming years is that band changed his life and brought him great life experiences!
Tena’s favorite experience during this year was when the whole band went to perform at Discovery Elementary School, and their band played alongside them. Tena said that the “band’s biggest accomplishment this season was making sixth place out of all Arizona and qualifying for championships (super- state), which has not been done at Independence for years, if not decades.”
Another band member, Senior Fatima Botello, Alto Saxophone player, has been in band for three years. She said her most nerve wracking experience “was probably the week before our summer practice because I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to play and march, but thankfully it gets easier to do as time goes by.” Botello also said her favorite time while being in band was this year’s last football game at Senior Night. She said, “our performance was the most solid it had ever been and well, it would be the last time I’d ever step on that field with my friends.”
Botello definitely recommends that students who are interested in music should join band. She says “the beauty of it is that there is something for everyone. Every instrument is beautiful and has its own personality whether it be as mellow as a clarinet or as bright as a trumpet.”
Band prepares for competitions and performances by practicing the music and the on field movements every Tuesday after school. The marching band also practices two hours daily from 7 a.m. to 9 am.
Band is active throughout the entire school year and even has weekly practices during summer. There is also Band Camp, which is a week of daily 8-hour practices during summer vacation! During fall season there is marching band, and during spring, there is Jazz Band, Color-guard, Symphonic Band and Concert Band.
While Independence has many hard working individuals and groups throughout the entire school, band is definitely one group that puts in their full effort and excels!
Congratulations to every band member who has been doing a great job all year!
Remember Patriots, if you are very interested in music, band will be there so you can express your musical talents! The band family will be happy to have you in the upcoming years!