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Eighth graders join Santa Fe’s band students in the stands

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 Junior Ben Kappen poses with a middle school student after they play stand tunes together

Junior Ben Kappen poses with a middle school student after they play stand tunes together

Junior Ben Kappen poses with a middle school student after they play stand tunes together

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On Sept. 22, the eighth grade band students flooded the Santa Fe football stands as they were given the opportunity to play with their future high school band peers. Every year, the Santa Fe band invites the future band students to conjoin and play stand tunes and witness the band perform their yearly marching show at a football game.

“[Middle school students] will witness how many cool things we do in marching band and how much more involved it is, “drum teacher of Heartland Middle School Tony Romano said.

Eighth grade night has been a tradition for Santa Fe high school and when Neely obtained the position of head director of the band in 2014 she continued the legacy. In her past teaching experience, she had also allowed the middle school band students to join with her high school students at one football game.

During eight-grade night, these students have an opportunity to witness how different high school band is from middle school and they have the opportunity to witness what a marching show is like. Eighth-grade night was created to excite them and encourage them continue their career into high school.

“[Eighth grade night] is the first glimpse the students have of how awesome high school band can be,” band director Victor Djonorh. “They meet a bunch of new friends they are going to have next year and it will make the transition easier and more comfortable.

Eighth grade night also is beneficial to the high school band students. The day before, some of the leadership team from the band went to the different middle schools to teach the 8th graders about their instruments and help with stand tunes.

“[Leadership team] has the opportunity to work on their teaching skills and to make those connections with the incoming students for next year,” Neely said.

The eighth graders through this experience realized, though high school band is drastically different, it was not intimidating or scary at all.

“[Eighth grade night] was awesome,” eighth grader at Summit Middle School Joel Morton said. “I really enjoyed meeting the highschoolers and having the opportunity to play stand tunes with them.”

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Eighth graders join Santa Fe’s band students in the stands