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The Cat's Eye

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The Cat's Eye

Should Marching Band be considered for pe credits?

During the summer and fall, all of band, which includes color guard, come together to perform a huge show on the football fields. Everyone puts in a lot of effort and hours into making this show, including 8-hour practices, cardio, and reworking lots of other parts of the show where everyone has to be on their feet, only to rest with 5-minute water breaks.

So this begs the question: Should Marching Band be considered for PE credits?

Marching band and concert band are two different things. Concert band plays music and performs at schools and concerts. Marching band, however, devotes more time athletically and physically depending on the instrument and depending on the marcher.

Band and color guard during the winter focus on their own individual sections. The jazz band performs at concerts while drumline and color guard focus on putting together a show to compete at other schools. But marching band is entirely different from the winter performances.

The RCHS Marching Band performing their show, “In Plane Sight.” (Thu Van)

For preparations in the summer, the sections help train the new members on the basics for two weeks. For band, they learn music exercises and stretch and do workouts as a group. For color guard, they learn dance and flag and the returning members train on their weapons.

Band camp is the preparation for when school starts,” senior and co-color guard captain Isabell Padilla said. “It teaches or reteaches you all of the fundamentals of marching and you’ll get to know your teammates and the people you’ll be working with.”

When school starts up again, mandatory practices happen twice or even three times a week after school or over the weekend. Once everyone gets a sheet to read and a couple hours to warm up in their individual section, the creation of that year’s fall show begins.

The RCMC set up to perform at one of the competitions. (Thu Van)

“Once school starts, it’s all production and less time will be spent on basics since it’s all taught at camp,” Padilla said. “It’s long, and hot hours are always spent in the sun, but it never fails to be fun and enjoyable every year.”

However, on top of producing a show, all of band and guard are required to go to football games and support the Rancho Cucamonga Cougars. Band learns and performs songs and color guard comes as the support. There is also another smaller section that assists bands and they are called drum majors, who help conduct and keep tempo.

“Marching Band is a very involved activity, with some weeks being 24 plus hours of involvement between rehearsals, competitions, football games, etc,” senior and band drum major Tyler Aichlmayr said. “Just rehearsals alone well exceed how much time you spend in a day to day P.E class, and marching is a very physically demanding activity, especially when you add in playing the correct notes and rhythms, tossing flags and rifles, etc.”

Other schools in the Unified School District or SRVUSD, such as Sam Ramon Valley Unified, Oak Park Unified, and Torrance Unified offer PE credits for Marching Band. These schools offer Marching Band for half pe credits for each season. 

Between the time commitment and the physical aspect of it, it should definitely count for P.E. credits.”

— Tyler Aichlmayr, senior

“Between the time commitment and the physical aspect of it, it should definitely count for P.E. credits,” Aichlmayr said.

Competition days are on almost every Saturday and the preparation for the competitions along with coming to the school, taking reps, performing, and then awards, takes nearly a full day. Some competitions can take as much as 12 full hours or more of preparation throughout the day.

“During the field season, we start in July with a two week long band camp, 10-12 hours rehearsals, marching and playing music,” band senior Ryan Seefeld said. “We spend usually 4 days a week on the field practicing to march for 6 minutes straight in our show while having the proper posture, marching technique and body composure to play an instrument throughout it.”

RCHS Marching Band clearing the field after a performance. (Thu Van)

In an anonymous survey taken by the RCHS Marching Band, 96.2% answered that it should be considered for pe credits. Of those people who took the survey, 46.2% have been doing band for more than four years. One of those students who answered was senior clarinet player Rosecurlette Anyanwu.

“As a senior who’s been part of the marching program all four years, I’d have to say that I looked forward to the long rehearsals, though the energy and focus that they required can be a lot sometimes,” Anyanwu said. “We’d be moving so fast we might as well be running; there would be poses we’d have to hold or keep while playing ridiculous rhythms; we were expected to keep the energy up and even build in intensity all the way to the end of the show.”

To be able to keep up with marching in a show, the band must find an equal balance in musical rhythm and physical abilities. As for the color guard, they must have equal balance in dance, rhythm, posture, and skills to ensure that everything looks clear and elegant.

RCHS Band Leadership received their award for band championships. (Thu Van )

With all this information in mind, most band kids and some other students believe that it should be considered as a substitute for PE credits. Some even find it ridiculous that it isn’t considered yet! Many band students believe that it offers the same amount of traits and rules as any other sport.

“Marching Band requires students to train countless hours starting in May to the end of October in order to achieve an incredible amount of endurance, body flexibility, and strength in our performances and competitions in the summer and fall. Every rehearsal we have pushes our members to new limits and goals, emphasizing both their mental and physical health, and especially their growth towards high achievement, maturation, and success outside of high school,”  Junior Drum Major and future band president Joshua Lin said. “A sport is any individual or team activity involving strenuous physical exertion of a competitive nature, so by definition, Marching Band falls under the category of a sport, even surpassing these expectations. Therefore, because Marching Band is overqualified to be a sport, it should reasonably be considered for PE credits as well, as all other sports have been.”

There are many different elements in marching band than just playing music or simply waving a flag. It involves a lot of physical and mental work in order to make a clear and concise show for others to enjoy. It seems to portray all aspects of what other sports would have and could be a great substitute for people who want to expand on their musical talent or dance, while still being active. 

The band students of the Rancho Cucamonga High School Marching Band have started signing and advocating a petition. This petition was created by future band historian Quinn Dorgan, in which it advocates for marching band to count towards PE credits.

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About the Contributor
Myla Portillo
Myla Portillo, Staff Reporter

Myla Portillo is a Junior at RCHS, and this is her first year in Journalism.She works as a staff reporter for The Cat’s Eye.Her favorite thing about Journalism is improving her skills in writing and researching stories.In her free time she loves to draw and watch performances.


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