Director, musicians share benefits of being in band


Natalie Queen

Junior trumpet player Tyler Paul marches on the football field.

It is never too late to join band and take advantage of all the perks and social benefits.

Director Brett Dawson cited these advantages of being in band: improved grades, less chances of using drugs and alcohol, and social and emotional benefits

Band can also serve as a place where members are not just welcomed, but encouraged to make mistakes, he added.

“The biggest pitch that I can probably give is that this place is a family,” Dawson said. “No matter if you are a cheerleader, or a basketball player, or a bowler, or somebody who doesn’t do anything, this is a space where all of those people from all those different walks of life, in the school community, can come together and make music and do something bigger than themselves…. Everybody can find success in band.”

It was actually family, (specifically her older brother Aaron Sears, who graduated in 2022), that inspired sophomore mellophone player Rebekah Sears’ to get involved in band. 

“I’ve always loved music, and then Aaron joined,” she explained. “He played clarinet, and I saw that he was having a lot of fun…He was my inspiration.” 

Her mom’s stories of playing trumpet also helped convince Sears that, “‘Yes! This is what I want to do!’” she said.

Sophomore Rebekah Sears plays both French horn and trumpet as well as mellophone (not shown). (Em Bollinger)

Freshman trombone player Logan Valenti said he was initially “fascinated” by the idea of being in band. 

“I’ve always had a music background, but it just fascinated me — the whole thing,” he said. “Been there since fifth grade, and I’m not stopping now.”

Senior drum major Grant Miller recalled being inspired by a high school marching band showcase when he was a fourth grader. 

“They came in and played all their instruments and demonstrated what it all was and…I just got really drawn into the idea of being in band…” Miller said.

It has since turned into an artistic outlet for Miller. “I think band…to me at least, has been a way to convey art in a different way than just drawing on a piece of paper,” he explained. “It’s constantly variable. It’s always changing, it’s…always something to learn, always something else to know differently every day in and out.”

Dawson echoed Miller’s sentiments. “That’s one of the things I love about it, is that whether it’s somebody that’s brand new, or somebody that’s been playing their instrument for seven years and they’re going into music next year, they can find something to feel good about and be successful with and take with them every day,” he said. “That’s always my goal, is sending all of the kids on their way with some kind of good feeling at the end of rehearsal in terms of what we have accomplished.”

Katie Martin, a senior who plays clarinet, offered her own advice to anyone considering joining band.  “I think you should give yourself a chance to try something new, at least once,” she said. “I would want people to at least give us a chance and try us out, because there is a lot of things that you can learn in band that you really can’t learn any place else…”

Valenti agreed. “It’s really fun and it’s an experience that you’ll never forget,” he said. “It’ll teach you great life lessons…and it’s all around a great time.”

“I would recommend band to anybody who wants a good experience…,” Martin added. “I feel like those connections that you can make [in band], you can make them on sports teams, but I feel we have more time to talk and stuff, so we get a lot closer.”

There are multiple options to marching on the field on Friday nights. Jazz band, for example, is a group that is growing in numbers, and now has full instrumentation except for a fourth trumpet and a keyboard player.

“If anybody plays guitar or bass, drumset, anybody that was in band at some point and wants to dip their toe back in, jazz band is a good way to do it,” Dawson said.

Junior auxiliary member Destiny Ward performs during the halftime show at a Friday night football game. (Katelyn Zemba)

“The biggest thing is we’re always welcome to bring new students in,” he continued. “I know that marching band is a big commitment and that it’s kind of scary. I have never had a student come to me and say ‘I wish I would have quit band a year early’, but I’ve had many students over the years come to me and say their senior year ‘Man, I wish I wouldn’t have quit band in eighth grade’, or ‘Man, I wish I wouldn’t have quit band my sophomore year’, or ‘Man, I really wish I wouldn’t have quit band after sixth grade’. The biggest thing I would say is, it’s never too late to come back and be part of the family.”

For band updates and information, follow @StreetsboroBand on Twitter or Instagram, or contact Dawson at [email protected].