Band creates new traditions

Final seconds tick off the clock. Chatter about a bad call is heard as fans on both sides of the field begin exiting the stadium. That is when it starts. The familiar tune; after every home football game this year, the Northwest band played Home on the Range.
“It is the state song, and I love that Northwest is steeped in tradition and strongly believes in traditional value, plus I think its a nice way to round up a performance,” instrumental director Dr. Gary Leopold said.
Leopold is trying to start traditions of his own as the new instrumental director at Northwest. The players in the band may have different views about this final song, but they realize why Leopold does this, and some have come to respect that.
“It’s a nice change from what we usually play because it’s much more musical,” Junior Kylie Norton said.
Traditions are what Northwest builds on, and it is these kinds of changes that make people stop, listen, and think.
“If we lose, it doesn’t make sense, but if we win it’s pretty cool [that the band does that],” junior Ronnie Brown said.
Not only is Leopold trying to instill tradition at the end of the game, but all throughout, for example at the halftime show, the performance is unique and brings excitement to the crowd while they are waiting.
“I wrote the drill and I rearranged some of the music. It has a nice flow and is a stronger piece,” Leopold said.
Band can be considered by some to be an “easy ‘A’ class”, but they work and practice drills and songs in the freezing cold weather. For over a quarter of the school year they work to get their 5 minutes of fame at halftime and the end of games.