Just like the college football players who displayed their talent on the field before them, the Mercer Island High School (MIHS) marching band tested its grit and experience during a mega-musician halftime performance on the afternoon of Sept. 10.
Islander junior drum major Moa Valentin added that the locals persevered through hot weather conditions to deliver their music as part of a 2,000-strong assemblage from more than 20 high schools at the University of Washington Husky Band Day on Montlake.
Joining the MIHS crew were other bands from across the state, including those from Shorewood, Issaquah, Bellevue, Mt. Baker, Eastlake, Onalaska, Manson and other territories. The massive instrument-toting group collectively performed four numbers, including the theme from “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Bow Down to Washington.”
Dave Bentley, one of the Mercer Island School District’s band directors, said: “This experience was very exciting to see our kids have the opportunity to see bands from other schools perform and interact with those students both musically and casually. It’s also pretty terrific to perform in the iconic Husky Stadium.” Other Island band directors are Parker Bixby, Kyle Thompson, Haley Smith and Jacob Krieger.
Victory was also on the Huskies’ side that Saturday as the footballers handily defeated visiting Portland State, 52-6.
According to the Islander band’s Facebook page, the musicians had just one week to learn the pieces for the big day, which featured MIHS band alumnus and current Husky band member Aaron Levin doubling as one of the locals’ guides during the event.
Valentin gave the Reporter a rundown on the afternoon: “Speaking with a few of the players, they all had an awesome, fun, and very educational experience. A highlight for many was during the time when all of the bands from different high schools came together and the drum lines from these schools gathered in the center of everyone and played, making the energy ecstatic.”
The MIHS marching band began blasting out its tunes and practicing its formations at a school camp from Aug. 15-19 on the turf of Islander stadium. A total of 205 students participated in the camp, and three weeks later they performed at the Islanders’ first home football game versus Auburn.
On the following day, they jumped into their uniforms again, grabbed their instruments and headed to Husky Stadium.