By: Kegan Huckabone
Friday Night Lights. An opportunity for the football team to show their skills. A stage for band and guard kids alike to perform for all of their peers. A place for social commentary.
The new marching band theme this year “Business as Usual” puts a spotlight on the inequalities for women in the workplace during the ‘70s and ‘80s. The field transforms into a large office space, with a view of skyscrapers and downtown buildings. The band’s musical selections also reflect female empowerment by including “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyonce, “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, & “Respect” by Aretha Franklin.
“Marching band can bring social commentary and light to an issue in a different way,” says Sam Silverman, a new band director at Jenks. “There’s definitely more of a spotlight on the women that are in leadership.”
Senior Maloree Morris, the head drum major, has a unique perspective when it comes to this topic, being a woman in leadership herself.
“Between the four drum majors, there’s definitely a big dynamic shift,” says Morris, the head drum major. “We had one girl last year, and now there’s only one guy… I’m definitely expected to do more.”
Beyond Jenks, women involved in the marching arts have started to become more recognized.
“There are a few women that have been doing some great things that have been swept under the rug, in the marching arts,” says Silverman.
Carol Brittin Chambers is one of those few women that have achieved popularity within the marching arts and is just now becoming more prominent in the musical scene. Chambers arranges the majority of the Jenks band music, apart from the percussion parts, and has contributed to their past success.
The Jenks band has great examples of strong women in leadership positions within their staff, leading people to believe that there is a statement to be made. However, Scott Hillock, the head band director, doesn’t think that there’s any underlying statement within the show.
“It’s just another fun show,” Hillock says, “It’s something that every person, no matter male or female, old or young… can identify with and enjoy.”
The Jenks Trojan Pride will continue telling this story of inequalities within the workplace at many contests including the Owasso Invitational, the Broken Arrow Invitational, and the St. Louis Super-Regional.
For more information go to www.jenksband.com