Marching like no other


LaBelle Staff

Senior Ella Underwood serves as the Marching Band’s Drum Major this year.

Alexis Eakin, Staff Reporter

As the Marching Band blares jazz music on the field, eager football fans cheer in the stands, as the band builds anticipation for the upcoming game. This year, the Bellefonte Area High School Marching Band has taken  on the theme of  “Gonna Take You There” for its fall show. 

After the band finished their 2019 Band Camp, Band Assistant Director Miss Jayme Zimmerman and Majorette Instructor Mrs. Armani Davy brought up the idea of doing a New Orleans-themed Jazz show after some of the students were shown The Princess and the Frog. 

“I liked the music and general idea, and we began to run with it from there,” said Band Director Mr. Caleb Rebarchak.  

This year’s show is “Goin’ Down the Bayou.” The name of the show came from lyrics in the song “Gonna Take You There,” from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. A number of other tunes are also be featured in the show, including “When the Saints Go Marching In” (traditional version), “Second Line” (traditional version), “The Bare Necessities” (from Disney’s The Jungle Book), “Proud Mary” (Ike & Tina Turner version), and “Liza Jane” (traditional version).  

This year’s drum major is Ella Underwood. 

“I was nervous and excited. Knowing that I had big shoes to fill, it took a lot of work to be able to be where I am now,” Ella said.

Ella leads and conducts the band, along with bringing energy  to the group. She expects the band to perform really well at this year’s show, have good attitudes, and play from the heart. 

“The band is my family and knowing that they trust me to lead them is an honor,” Ella said.

Mr. Rebarchak first started directing at BAHS in the Summer of 2018, making this his fourth year as the director. The band has persevered through this difficult time, even though COVID-19  took a big toll on them last year. 

¨With COVID-19, it was not easy to figure out ways to keep on practicing and marching,¨ Mr. Rebarchak said.

Even though the band couldn’t wear their regular uniforms or practice as often, they still came through to perform and continued to practice and march with the help of special instrument masks and bell covers when playing inside and outside. So far, his year has been much easier for them; the students can now wear their uniforms and they no longer have to wear special instrument maks and/or bell covers when playing outside, according to Mr. Rebarchak.  

 Since the practice season started at the beginning of summer, the band  has made a large amount of progress. They began to hold some rehearsals right after school finished in June, and then started again in mid-July through the month of August. 

¨Since half the band has not marched before, I wanted to write our marching maneuvers at a level that would help all students feel successful, which I think we’ve achieved,¨ Mr. Rebarchak said.

“The instrumentalists and drumline have a really nice ensemble sound, and the Band Front squads – Majorettes, Guard, Dance Team – all add some great visual appeal to the show,” he said.

Mr. Rebarchak sense the excitement the members feel about performing. 

“They are especially excited about the music they are performing…playing at games to an audience is always an enjoyable experience,” he said