Q&A: William Zollman (10)

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William Zollman (10) poses with his clarinet before marching practice. Zollman is a section leader in marching band, as well as a member of jazz band.

Charles DeVries

Q: What does it mean to be a section leader in marching band?

A: Being section leader means you are supposed to be the example for your group, help make them better, make sure they do what they need to do and keep them in line.

Q: What is your practice schedule like?

A: We spend a lot of time practicing. We don’t have practice on Monday. On Tuesday, we have practice from 5:00-7:30 p.m., and on Wednesday and Thursday practice is from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. On Friday, if we don’t have a football game, we practice until 5 p.m., but if we do, we stay until the game is over because we perform. On Saturdays, we often have competitions and typically get back from those late at night.

Q: What are some upcoming events for marching band?

A: We don’t have anything coming this Saturday, but next Saturday we have our third invitational, and competitions every Saturday until the middle of November. These competitions take place in both Illinois and Indiana.

Q: How does Mr. Nelson compare to Mr. Harmon?

A: Mr. Nelson’s teaching strategy is the near opposite of Mr. Harmon’s. His philosophy is to do it well first time, so you you don’t have to do it over and over. Harmon was all about repetition. The issue with repetition was some people would not put in their best effort until the very end. Our new system motivates people to try harder every time.

Q: Is it difficult to get your homework done with the amount you practice?

A: Yes. I am in many honors classes, and with the amount of homework I receive from those classes, in addition to the numerous hours spent marching, results in me having to often stay up late to complete my homework.

Q: Do you practice outside of marching band?

A: Yes, I practice at home whenever I have a chance. I will sometimes stay after to practice together with other people. We sometimes have sectionals on the days when we don’t have practice.

Q: What do you enjoy most about marching band?

A: I enjoy the performance most, as well as watching the audience grow, as we go from invitationals to Grand Nationals. I also really enjoy the energy and applause from the audience after we perform.

Q: Is marching band worth the amount of time you have to spend on it?

A: Definitely. The amount of improvement that you see changes you as a person. When you first join, you are usually kind of afraid of the big crowds you perform in front of. By the end you lack a fear of performance and gain a lot of confidence.

Q: What is your most memorable moment of marching band?

A: My most memorable moment was when we were at Grand Nationals, and we booked an indoor practice area. It looked like warehouse. We had worked so hard on the performance, and I was realizing this was one of the last times we would ever march this song as a band.

Q: What is the most challenging part of marching band?

A: The most difficult part is making sure you are focused and giving all you effort all the time. You can’t get distracted, or else your performance will lack. You will get good very quickly if you just stay focused on band and don’t get side tracked.