August means back to school, and for many, the start of football season. But for the musically-inclined students at Ottumwa High School, it means it's time to kick off the marching band season.
Friday was the last day of a three week camp for this year's marching band. During week one, the pit and drum line rehearsed their music, the full band came in to learn marching basics and music in week two, and in this past week, the entire band was finally able to hit the field for a full rehearsal of music and motions.
Senior Kimberlyn Garcia and junior Marcus O'Brien are this year's drum majors, and they both said marching band is a rewarding activity to be a part of.
"It's really fun, it's a challenge, because you do a lot of different things all at the same time," said O'Brien. "And it's a lot more on the field, you've got the marching, you've got to know your steps, you've got to count, you've got to know where you're going and also the music that goes with it. It's a fun challenge."
"I think it teaches you leadership and how to connect with other kids and make new friends," Garcia said. "We're like one big family, apart from our separate ones, so I think it's cool."
This year's marching band theme is "Pirates of the Caribbean". Before the first football game of the season on Friday, August 17, you can catch the band performing a pep rally-type concert at the Bulldog Block Party next Thursday.
In addition to performing at OHS football games, the band also travels around the area for competitions throughout the season.