Band’s Steady March to Excellence



There have been many locations that the RHS band has performed at over the years. Senior and Drum Major, Samantha Heikkila, enjoys the many special events the band has done this past year.  

“We’ve had a lot of success not necessarily through trophies and achievements but we’ve gotten a lot of people that have reached out and asked us to perform for them, like there was a gold star family thing that happened down at the cemetery and we were asked to play for that,” Heikkila said.

Heikkila has been doing band ever since middle school and she enjoys the opportunity she’s had to have performed in band for her years in the program.

“I’ve been in band since I was in about sixth grade and I’ve been in the band program all throughout high school,” Heikkila said.

According to band director, Michael Austin, While the band has had a lot of success throughout their performances, the band already has sixty students and is still trying to achieve their overall goal of getting to 100 students.

“We’ve been doing a lot of recruiting at the middle schools so hopefully we’ll be able to build back up and hit  our goal of getting to about 100 members,” Austin said.

Even though Heikkila enjoys the success the band has had, she still believes that there are some problems with having some late night practices and where they are able to practice. Mainly being the limited lighting they have and the constant changing of locations pertaining to where they practice.

“Sometimes we don’t get the football field which means that we’re on the soccer field and whenever we have the soccer field we don’t have actual lights to light up the field meaning most of the people are marching in the dark,” Heikkila said.

Austin hopes that more students will be able to see the performances they do and wants more students to get involved in band to have an enjoyable experience for all involved.

“Were having fun, we’re pushing through the year and just a reminder to all those musicians out there you still gotta join band because band is cool  and yeah we’re just having fun and hopefully we’ll be able to perform for the school at rallies and things like that so you can see what we’re all about,” Austin said.

As the RHS band has been focused on their upcoming performances, they’ve been waiting a long time to perform in a festival and finally after two years have the opportunity to do so.

“Right now we’ve been focused on getting ready for our spring concert which is in April and our first festival so we’ll be going to festival for the first time in a really long time and that’s just like our fall competitions where we do marching band except it’s sit down band and we go to a school, play in a concert hall and we get adjudicated by a judge, so that’s what we’re focused on right now,” Austin said. 

Austin is glad to have the band back performing normally again and do the performances that they have not been able to have in the past two years.

Austin is glad that the band gets the opportunity to perform again after two years and is glad to have the band return to a state of normalcy while also surpassing expectations he had for the program this year.

“If we’re coming this year to the last two years we had with COVID, this year is like amazing because we’re able to do a whole lot more than we’ve been able to do in the past two years coming from Zoom rehearsals, going into our pods and than finally being able to have a marching season, this years been shaping up to be really exciting and we’ve been able to do most of what we’ve normally done pre-COVID so it’s really exciting were able to get back out,” Austin said.