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Mt. Pleasant marching band prepares for success

Union photo by Gretchen Teske

Jakin Bunnell, a freshman at Mt. Pleasant Community High School, practices the marimba during band camp on Friday, Aug. 2.
Union photo by Gretchen Teske Jakin Bunnell, a freshman at Mt. Pleasant Community High School, practices the marimba during band camp on Friday, Aug. 2.
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MT. PLEASANT — The City of Mt. Pleasant has been waking up to the sound of music courtesy of 183 students in the Mt. Pleasant Community High School marching band.

On Friday, Aug. 2, students were hard at work in band camp learning their show, “Children of Apollo.” Both the music and drill were written by Mt. Pleasant Community High School (MPCHS) band director Jim DePriest.

MPCHS senior Paige Stater is in her second year as drum major for the band and said the idea for the show stemmed from the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

“Our director, Mr. D, wrote out a show to kind of remember what happened and what it took because it was a very important event,” she said. “Our first number is ‘List off’ which is the idea of them going to the moon. Our second number, it’s about actually getting there and landing and then the third number is about the children of Apollo, which is my generation going to Mars. So going further into different worlds.”

State said the part she enjoys the most is the third number because it is the most upbeat and shows hope for the future generation.

“I’m really excited for this year. They’re doing really well and I think it will look really cool,” she said.

Lilly Pereira, a MPCHS senior, has been in band all four years and is a member of the pit playing the marimba. For her, band is a great way to meet new people and have fun. As for the show this year, she is excited and has high expectations this will be the best one in all of her years as a member.

“There’s a lot of narration and it tells a cool story. Just all the quotes and stuff about the moon landing, it’s cool because it’s the 50th year for the moon landing,” she said. “There’s a lot of cool color guard choreography so that’s really neat.”

Vocal music teacher at MPCHS and color guard coach Marlene DePriest said the band is looking strong this year thanks to dedicated freshmen who have come in and stepped up.

“You know, we’ve got a strong tradition of music here in Mt. Pleasant, so we’ve got great people at the elementary and the middle school teaching them and so it’s just one of those things that it makes you feel good because they do love music and they like to be a part of it,” she said. “They’re working hard, they’re playing well, so it’s a great group of kids.”

Band director Jim DePriest said writing the music took about three weeks once he nailed down a concept and seeing the students grasp it quickly and put it on the field was a cool feeling. He said he could not be more proud of his students and the hard work they have put in already this summer. Their dedication is evident in their sound.

“Year after year, the Mt. Pleasant kids are just the nicest kids. Anytime someone gives up this much time out of their summer, and they give so much time, they’re just amazing kids. They really are,” he said.