What is the Belleville West Marching Band?


Dakotah Henry

This year, the 2022 Belleville West Marching Maroons showcased the production of their show, “The Green Light.” This piece features works by varying artists including George Gershwin, Charlie Puth, Lorde, and Lana Del Ray. 


The band has a total of 112 students, with the color guard having the largest section containing 24 members. The music that these musicians have prepared is introduced in many different styles, from home football games to competitions. But it takes a decent amount of work to get to that point.


“The overarching goal every year is to meet the demands of the music,” lead Belleville West Band Director, Micheal Pond-Jones said. “We want to increase our musicianship to the point that over the course of the marching season what was once very difficult for us to do is now attainable and easier because we became better musicians in the process.” 


Many of the students in the marching band tend to have enjoyment for their performances, however, the path of revision and repetition of the drill to achieve readiness isn’t necessarily the easiest. The Belleville West Marching Maroons have attended four total marching band competitions, including an exhibition performance here at West on October 29. 


“I think the competitions are very hard to do and stressful to prepare for, but they have rewarding outcomes once we finish them,” freshman alto saxophonist Jared Tendiel said. 


Because there is so much preparation involved to succeed at a competition, or any performance in general, these students have practiced during school and every Tuesday night since the start of the season. This ensures that the band has time to improve upon their music and visual strategies as a whole so that they can perform to the best of their ability. Senior trombonist Jerry Aplin believes that the factor that determines whether the band has a good performance is the dedication of each member. 


“Of course, it’s up to the directors and the drum majors to conduct and to teach us well, and they do a good job at that,” Aplin said. “But if everybody just puts in the work well, then we will always have a great performance.”


Even though music quality and visual appeal are crucial factors for the Marching Maroons, the people in the band and the community that is created within it have proven to be just as important. 


“The thing that holds the band together the most right now is that we just have tons of people in the band, and that really makes making music easy,” Pond-Jones said. “It’s easy to make music when everyone in the room wants to be here and works together. The band’s always a special place to be, full of awesome people, but it’s even more remarkable this year.”