Our Emerald Eagle Marching Band
We are Students First!
The EAGLE MARCHING BAND (EMB) is the largest competitive organization at Enloe! Our primary aim in the EMB is to provide high quality, enriching, and fun experiences for our members while encouraging their academic development. To that end our rehearsal schedule is heavy in August and much lighter once classes begin. We only rehearse on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school (Guard and Percussion have an additional sectional) and those rehearsals begin one hour after school dismissal, allowing our members to participate in clubs, attend tutoring sessions, etc. While we do not rehearse as often as many other local high school marching bands during the school year, our accomplishments both academically and during the competition season reflect a winning balance. Our members quickly learn to set priorities, to organize their time, and to work hard. These are essential skills for everyone and it is no surprise that our students are consistently among best and brightest Enloe has to offer!
Being a member of the Enloe Marching Band begins with hard work and commitment to the group. Marchers must memorize both music and marching movements (drill) for a 7-8 minute show, for starters. The marching drill has them in nearly constant motion while playing - a skill that takes focus and patience to master. Developing that sense of responsibility to the group, and sharing in succeeding together, is a valuable life lesson learned in the EMB. Our marching drill and music are custom written each summer for the exact number of members in the group; everyone has a place and responsibilities to "the show." No one sits on the bench in band, we need every member, every moment, for a successful performance! Our members must be committed to punctuality and understand their actions impact everyone in the group. This sense of responsibility gets them to rehearsal on time and motivates them to prepare between rehearsals. There are times when our members are expected to maintain focus for long periods of time in adverse conditions, but they persevere because they rise to the challenge and they feel a strong sense of pride on the other side of such difficult moments. These shared experiences bind the EMB together with a strong sense of esprit de corps!
The primary mission for student leaders in the EMB is to serve others with no regard for recognition, while developing leadership skills. Our leaders were good followers first. They listened and followed instructions from staff and their very own peers. Now they work behind the scenes frequently when others are not even aware of their efforts. They do this because the rewards of selfless, hard work are very deep and very gratifying intrinsically. EMB leaders are expected to work together with staff and other student leaders in the planning, executing and assessing of our program. In the course of executing our plan there are conflicts that test the resolve of our student leaders, those moments provide that great practical learning experience required to become more self aware and evolve into a stronger leader. Leading peers can be difficult, especially in high school, and leaders sometimes doubt themselves. The support of the staff and other student leaders ensures they persevere for the sake of the band! And in persevering they continue to develop into fine young ladies and gentlemen who become worthy of their trusted positions.
Each spring current students are invited to participate in planning sessions during their lunch time. A group usually piles into the band office, sits on the floor, and eats their lunch while discussing issues that are vital to the operation of their Enloe Marching Band(EMB). Soon thereafter student leaders are chosen and tasks are assigned as we continue to plan our season and work to recruit new members. We visit the middle schools and host events at Enloe for rising freshman, and their parents, to learn about the program and try out marching with current band members. Our percussion section also holds a series of workshops during the spring and placement auditions to allow new and existing members to try new instruments and develop skills for the coming season before we take a break for the summer.
Our first large gathering is a day long trip in late July to Charlotte to attend a Drum Corps International(DCI) event and spend the day at Carowinds. This trip serves two purposes: to give students an opportunity to catch up with their friends and meet new ones; and to expose them to the pinnacle of our performance medium watching DCI Marching Corps in competition. August usually begins with "pre-camp," three days of marching & playing fundamentals to get everyone ready to learn the show. Next is our "away band" camp where we spend one week of long rehearsal days in the very weather friendly environment provided by the mountains of western Maryland, at Frostburg State University. The significantly cooler temperatures at Frostburg greatly improve our rehearsal effectiveness and make it possible to reduce our rehearsal time once school begins. After a day off to recover, we resume rehearsals at Enloe with our "home camp." Due to the Raleigh heat in August, we spend the hottest portion of our days indoors working on music and save outdoor work for the “cooler” portions of the day. All of our marchers wear water bottles when outdoors and parents are always on hand with water refills to keep the students hydrated and sunscreen to protect them from the sun. After a week of "home camp" we have a week of "night camp", from 5-8PM to finalize marching and music, by now we can all see (and hear) the results of the past few weeks and the excitement really builds. Parents are welcome to watch any time, but "night camp" is an excellent time for parents and alumni to visit and see the show coming together.
Once school begins we’ll have about 20 after school rehearsals (spread over 10 weeks) of the show during which we will prepare for five competitions and five home football games. In addition to the competitive halftime show, the Enloe Marching Band prepares a pre-game show and bleacher music for the football games. Local competitions are held on Saturdays beginning the last weekend in September at Panther Creek and extending through the first weekend in November at Cary Band Day. After “the season” the EMB rehearses less frequently and always for a specific purpose like the Veteran's Day and Raleigh Christmas parades, the faculty holiday tea or our middle school tour. Our final appearance each year is an encore presentation at the Enloe Bands holiday concert in December.