Students are prepared to work for it as well, training over the summer and throughout the football season. Kelley works individually with students, directing them by name into formation at practices and rehearsals.
Student leadership is crucial to the band, and Kelley relies on drum majors, section leaders and color guard captains to promote a culture of excellence.
“For most students coming from high school bands, this is their chance to march,” said Kelley. “Everyone wants to make it count.”
As the band has grown, so has the variety of students involved. Only half of the members are music majors, but they all share a love of music and a passion for performing.
“In some bands students check in and check out, but not here,” said Kelley. “North Central is a special place. Students take ownership of the program and create the culture, bringing in their own ideas that we put in shows.”
While in the stands, the students serve as the pep band, playing for the fans and athletes alike.
“A lot of other schools our size are silent during games, but we don’t want that at one of ours. Our fans expect more, and we have a responsibility to live up to that,” said Kelley. “Marching band is our way of giving back to North Central.”
Sharing that game day experience is crucial to getting prospective students excited about attending North Central. They have the unique opportunity to hear not only what North Central band members have to say, but also what they can play.