Marching Band Claims First Win of Season in Western Welcome Week Parade


Carly Philpott

Part of the Creek drumline performs with the marching band during the Western Welcome Week Parade. In addition to the marching band’s general win, the drumline also placed first in their own category Aug. 20.

Carly Philpott and Wryn Duepre

In their first performance of the school year, Creek marching band placed first among school marching bands in Littleton’s Western Welcome Week Grand Parade on Aug. 20. Its percussion section also won the drumline category.

The band prepares before the school year begins in a two week band camp. By the time Western Welcome Week rolls around, they’ve only been working together for three weeks. But band director Timothy Libby says everyone, especially the newest band members, exceeded his expectations in this first competition.

“Most of the new students are freshmen, there are some sophomores or juniors that might join or even seniors that join,” Libby said. “And so for all those new people that have never done anything like that before, they exceeded my expectations.”

For over 20 years, Libby and previous band directors have used Western Welcome Week as a warm-up parade for the band. It’s more casual than other competitions they’ll do later in the year, but allows all members to get a taste of what marching and competing will be like.

“We do it so that we practice our foot timing and marching and playing at the same time and just in a straight line,” Libby said. “When you get that skill going really well, then when we go out and do our competitive stuff.”

In marching band, much of the leadership and direction comes not from the adult directors, but the student leaders. Each instrument section has leaders, usually upperclassmen, and the band as a whole is conducted by three student drum majors. Libby thinks this structure is intrinsic to students’ preparation for their first competition, especially when it comes to calming nerves.

“One of the cool things about marching band is our student leadership team. Everybody has a section leader, and I think they talked about what used to make them nervous,” Libby said. “ I think it’s helpful for the new students, because I haven’t seen too much panic.”

Senior lead drum major Josh Weiner, who leads all three drum majors, said that a major part of these competitions, and being a leader in the band, is about helping new members to love marching band the way their older peers do.

“I think the hardest part about the season is just maintaining that hard work for the whole season,” Weiner said. “It’s really hard to express to new marchers the beauty of marching band, there just has to be trust in the leadership and trust in the fact that their hard work will pay off.”

With this first win, the hard work, so far, has paid off. And while the work will continue, Weiner said he was already happy with the band’s performance.

“I had immense sense of pride in the band when I found out how successful they were,” he said. “It feels really amazing knowing I get the privilege to be the leader of such a great group of people.”