What’s Up With the 2021 Halftime Show?


Izzy Alexander

AHS band rehearses for the Homecoming performance.

RJ Stevenson, Staff Reporter

When it comes to overcoming tough situations, the Arlington High School band has proved to be very competent at finding a solution. This competence was tested yet again, as they have found themselves in a difficult situation as they prepare for this year’s halftime show. 

Arlington High School band has been a staple of the school’s home football games, but recent changes in leadership in addition to a post covid world have created lots of speed bumps for the whole group. 


When asked about the what the biggest struggle this year has been, Ashley Holtrop, the new director for the Arlington High School band said, “I think this has been the same for most programs that build off of each other, is that not performing for a year and a half makes it kinda difficult to get back in the swing of things.” 


As mentioned, the band has had a change in leadership. Following last year’s move to online school, John Grabowski, who had led the band for over twenty years, retired and passed the torch to Miss Holtrop. In addition to being new, she is basically having to rebuild the whole program from scratch. 


“There’s a very big separation of skill because the sophomores are technically at a seventh grade band knowledge,” said Izzy Alexander, a senior trumpet player in AHS’s Wind Ensemble.


In addition to the new wave of students, the band has also had to overcome a year of online learning, and a shortened practice schedule.


 “In past shows, we had more experience playing, and time to practice,” said Nora Lindsay, a junior, and drum major for the band.


The upperclassmen of the band are also expected to perform with a higher level of leadership as only the seniors have performed in a show, and marching experience is limited to juniors and seniors.


“It’s just different,” said Alexander when asked about the changes in production. “ I mean most of the kids haven’t done any sort of halftime show, so it feels pretty normal.”


In previous years, the band has done more complex shows involving moving formations, as well as multiple songs. The simplified program for this year’s show will consist of the band performing Daft Punk Medley arranged by Pentatonix, in an “A” formation on the field. 


“We are very excited,” said Holtrop. “The kids voted on this piece, and it is an absolute blessing to be able to perform for the community again.”


On a good note, even with the restrictions to their show, the band has displayed their positivity and excitement for the performance, as they are finally able to perform again. 


“I am a little anxious we’ll pull it off, as this is my first year marching, and as a drum major, “ said Lindsay.


After getting further input from other band members, it’s clear that this excitement is shared across the group, even if they are a little nervous.


“ I’m nervous, but I think it’ll be good. I feel pretty confident in my playing right now,” said Alexander.


 In the end, the band is glad to get back to performing, and look forward to having fun while putting on a show. 


“I think our performance this year should not be judged based  on other years,’ said Alexander. “ It needs to be judged on just this year, because comparing it to what Grabowski had been doing for years, compared to someone who just is new and all the covid stuff, it should not be compared.”