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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

Bulldogs march to extended winning streak

Riley Mize
The Marching Bulldogs perform during Ridgeway’s Popcorn Days Sept. 9. The band brought home a first place award.

Building on a seven-year winning streak, the Marching Bulldogs have gone undefeated for the eighth year in a row. The SIU Homecoming parade concluded the marching season. 

Carrying a consecutive achievement requires hard work from both the students and the director of a marching band. Fifteen-year band director Hannah Drake understands the importance of preparation and teamwork.

“It goes back to expectations,” Drake said. “We have a high standard, and the group knows what is expected of them. Our group is the definition of working smarter, not harder. We get it done during the school day. It’s clear that we have to work during our own [time], but [we] time as a group in class is what really affects the group. The group embodies ‘win together lose together; it’s bigger than one’.”

Drake’s approach to marching band is different from other bands, which makes the Marching Bulldogs stand out amongst their competitors.

“A lot of groups just continue with the normal forward marching, but ours is sort of like a field show,” Drake said. “It exposes us to errors; doing things like marching band is only impressive when it looks clean.”

Drake believes that the members of the band have to work hard to achieve their goals. 

“I think [students] have to want to do it,” Drake said. “They know that our program is at a high level. They have to believe in it, and it has to be something that they enjoy doing and are willing to sacrifice so much of their time for. I hope that it’s an activity they want to be a part of and have their name attached to it.”

The pace of the parade season is often chaotic and a whole new world for the freshmen in the band.

“Marching [band] is just feverish and fast paced-always,” Drake said. “For almost a quarter of the band or more, it’s their first time doing this, so it’s a huge learning curve. With marching band, everything is different in every aspect.”

Freshman Dwayne Trammel believes that the HHS marching band is incredibly different from his time spent with the HMS band, but the hard work is worth it.

“The HHS marching band is a lot different in a lot of ways,” Trammel said. “One thing is that it feels a lot more formal because we’re all in uniform and we put in a ton of practice to get as good as we are. I prefer how much faster the program works and all the hard work that everybody puts in is definitely worth it because it rewards us with something to be proud of in the end.”

Senior Jake Blimline appreciates his time spent as an HHS Marching Bulldog.

“Time has made me a better musician,” Blimline said. “I’ve improved through my high school career, and it was worth it; it has made me a better musician.”

Drake wants band students to take pride in their efforts. 

“At some point, it’s not about winning against somebody else,” Drake said. “It’s about looking at your program and where it’s at and looking at where the students are-it’s about raising the bar for ourselves.”

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About the Contributors
Kylan Jerrell
Kylan Jerrell, Staff Writer
Kylan Jerrell is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is his first year working as an Purple Clarion staff member. He participates in the school band, playing the trombone for the concert, jazz, and marching band. He is also an active member in Key Club, History Club, Music Club and Book Club. He is passionate about literature, writing, and music.  Kylan spends his free time reading, writing short stories and poetry, practicing his instrument and listening to a wide variety of music. He plans on attending school to study both music and literature.  “Student journalism gives a voice to students, both as writers and participants in school activities. It is an essential part of the ‘High School Experience’.”
Riley Mize
Riley Mize, Staff Writer
Riley Mize is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her second year on the Purple Clarion staff. She participates in YFC and White Hats. Riley also likes to take photos, hiking and traveling.  After high school she plans on attending a university in Colorado, pursue her career in nursing and to become a nurse anesthetist.  “Allowing students to express what is going on in the world through stories and articles, being allowed to put their opinion in things if they feel a certain way about something, is really something I am grateful we get to do, and is also important.” 

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