The Other Side of Band


For many years the Cocoa Tiger Regiment has worked hard to receive many awards and titles, gaining a reputation for the songs played at the varsity football games and performed on the football field during halftime. But how did they get to that point?

One answer is Kill the Drill: an all day practice that band members go to the first saturday after school starts to perfect the drill (The shapes the band members perform from halftime). It’s typically from 8-4, and the temperatures reach anywhere from 90 to 100 degrees fahrenheit.

Luckily, they’ve come up with a solution to cool off with “a little rain.”That “little rain” comes in the form of a fire truck. It is by far the most attention grabbing part of the day.

“It’s refreshing, the water is cold which is great especially when it’s  90 to 100 degrees or more outside and everyone has fun and just gets to cool off and you know hang out with each other and just relax after you know probably about four hours in the morning of a really really hard work you know in that heat,” Mr. Hottel, the band director, commented.

When the fire truck shows up it gets hooked up to a nearby fire hydrant. Then the first year marching band students (Rookies) line up in a line standing at attention. Then the firefighters spray into the air, and the water hits the rookies. After this tradition, everyone else is allowed to play in the water.

The students have a lot of fun doing crazy things in the water. “ I jokingly said “Hey let’s form a line” underneath the water and initially like four kids sat down and the next thing I know the whole band sat in a line and I’m just like “What is going on” and we were all screaming Row Row Row Your boat,” Janna Bailey, the Drum Major and fifth year marching band member, said.

But surprisingly, this is not all Kill the Drill is about. It’s just the part that grabs the most attention. Kill the Drill is actually a representation of the band’s hard work in getting ready for shows. In fact, when asked about Kill the Drill, the fire truck was only a subject of conversation for a small amount of time. Instead, they chose to talk about their sets and the show.

“They [people outside of band] should think of the band working and taking a day in their lives to get together and focus on getting our show ready to perform to them on Friday nights,” Said Luis Merced, the clarinet section leader and third year marching band member when asked about what other people should think of when they hear Kill the Drill.

Kill the Drill is also a time for the band to come together as a big family. “A little personal goal for me is you know everyone has a good time in and meet like I said during the lunch a lot of people will hang out and mingle with people they’ve never hung around before and get to know people a little bit better the rookies kind of get you know sucked into the family a little bit.

Which is good because they you know they find that you know this is a really good place for them to belong and they do have a home here. Whether it’s you know their like number one home or a second home you know they know they’re safe they know they have friends and family here so that’s definitely a goal as it always happens,” Mr. Hottel informed me.

It’s easy not to see how hard it is to perform the halftime show. Many people think marching band is just walking while playing an instrument, but it is not. It isn’t as vigorous as football or basketball, but that does not make it less important. The fun just comes after all the hard work is done.