Clements Band’s Hidden in Plain Sight


The 2021 Clements Marching Band show is a combination of well-known pieces woven together. From Noisy Wheels of Joy to Billie Eilish’s “when the party’s over,” this year’s performance is a divergence from years past.

“We introduce the main piece of music, the Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphosis, and we hide themes from that in other pieces later in our show,” Head Band Director Jeff Johnson said, “and then at the end of the show, the Symphonic Metamorphosis comes back in full.”

There are multiple soloists this year that feature the main pieces, but the themes also flow between different sections of instruments until the band plays the same themes at the same time at each of the hits. But a marching show is not just the music, the visual portion, both the pictures, or dots or sets, that come together throughout the performance, and the choreography, play a huge part in each show.

COVID has taken a hit on even marching band though, as there is a new grade of marchers who must be taught everything from the very basics every year, but this season introduced two classes of freshmen in a way, as neither the class of 2024 or 2025 have ever completed a marching show.

“We started off with marching fundamentals in May and the end of summer, then we got the music, then we started learning sets,” Soloist Dewey Palmer said, “After school, we’ve been practicing marching outside and learning the dots so we can get the first part of the show on the field.”

In recent seasons, the activity has begun to lean towards adding choreography throughout much of the shows, and the Clements Band is quick to jump aboard this trend. With multiple choreography clinics and much of rehearsal time being dedicated to perfecting the movements, Clements is incorporating this part more than people would have thought.

“The majority of our rehearsal has been learning the [pictures that we make on the field,]” Johnson said. “[With] choreography that is much more significant than it’s ever been.”

“The band has been preparing by learning our dots and music,” junior Marissa Yeh said.

The band overall is incredibly excited for the show, the season, and the contests that come with it, especially due to the fact that three of the four classes have never competed to qualify for the state competition, and many are eager to experience them. 

“[I’m looking forward to] competing and performing at games,” Palmer said.

“I think we’re going to do really well at contests because everyone’s been looking forward to it since 2 years ago,” Freshman Eva Graebe said.

“I’m looking forward to competitions, games, and hopefully finals,” Head Drum Major Riley Fox says, “I think since we have more choreography this year…we’ll do better.”

“I think contests will be a good experience,” junior Marissa Yeh said, “I’m looking forward to performing and competing with my closest friends in band.”