Marching Mustangs and music department do not compete against other schools

Metea competes in various areas, which include anything from sports conference to dance to speech, there are many activities that students partake in that result in those desired shiny medals or large trophies. An exception to this is the marching band. 

Other schools in the area, such as Waubonsie, Neuqua, and Naperville Central all compete against other schools with their color guard and band. But there are very specific reasons why Metea does not, reasons that extend throughout the department.

“The whole music department does not compete as a matter of fact. You know, when we opened the school, we made that decision,” band teacher Glen Schneider said.

By eliminating competitions within the music department at Metea, the music directors have allowed all students to be challenged and obtain the recognition they deserve. That is why the chairs are regularly switched out within the band and orchestra classes and why there are more opportunities for the students to collectively showcase their talents, like in the Collage concert each winter. The music department is looking out for the enjoyment and well being of the students. 

“I think as we all know, there is stress and there are a lot of students struggle with anxiety these days,” Schneider said. 

For the other schools in the district that do compete, there have been negative consequences both in the size of the band and in the enjoyment levels for students. Some of the other marching bands in the district have been decreasing in size because of the time commitment and stress that comes with competition. This would be concerning considering the Marching Mustangs currently consists of approximately 140 students and has been functioning since the school opened. 

“And I think numbers are obviously a short term motivator, but I think the reason students stick with marching bands over the years is because they enjoy each other and enjoy the music,” Schneider said. 

Even though they are not out competing every weekend, there are still many opportunities for students to observe the hard work of the Marching Mustangs. For instance, they play at the Friday night football games and periodically perform showcases at various locations. 

Some members feel although shimmering costumes, fancy flags, and cool trophies are not the only incentives for participating in competitions. 

“If we were to compete, then all of us would take it way more seriously and I feel like our shows would be a lot better. So in general, yes I would love for [marching band] to compete and hope we do in the future,” Sophomore Teddy Malamis said. 

Despite the hopeful wishes of some members of the band, the future of competitions in Metea’s music department is still unsure. The marching band will continue to be regarded as an activity that will excite and amaze spirited observers for years to come

“Marching band is one little part of the music department that makes us whole,” Schneider said.