They didn’t mind the jokes becausethey had their own musical agenda
By Bruce Smith
The Front Ensemble group of the Bingham Marching Band was primarily in their own world.
“Percussion was going all summer,” said section leader Jared Edwards. “By the time we got to Band Camp (in early August), we had most of the songs memorized and were working on specific details. We didn’t have much time off. The most I had off was when I got my wisdom teeth out (three days).
“Yet everyone still called us lazy,” he added. “We had to live with stuff like that.”
Edwards wasn’t totally serious, of course. He and the other 10 members of the group relished their time together. He called it a great year, starting with Camp and ending with Bingham’s finish at the Bands of America competition.
“In 30 years, the thing I’ll remember most was the Bands of America. It was a long trip (to California, with a return stop in St. George), and it was cramped. We had a lot of camaraderie.”
The camaraderie started early in the summer and, with the help of instructor Jake Van Weezep, the group was more finely tuned by the time Camp began on Aug. 9. Edwards said they felt more comfortable with what needed to be accomplished.
“There was quite a bit of goofing off, but that’s what made it the most fun,” Edwards said.
It also resulted in a lot of advantages.
We got to stay inside. It was great,” he said. “Everyone else was outside (in the 90-degree heat). We were excused from the morning warm-ups. We came in at noon and were only there for eight hours. We had to set up and be ready to play at noon and then we’d play until dinner. At that point, we would move our stuff to be outside with the band.”
Edwards’ role in the Bingham band actually started a little late. Most of his family are musically talented and he got interested in playing an instrument in seventh grade. At first, he chose the drums, but soon realized he liked instruments that involved mallets and started mastering the vibraphone. He became aware of the Marching Band his sophomore year and joined as a junior.
He said he didn’t know many people in the band outside of his group, which also included his younger sister, Rachel. He said it was nice having her in the group, even though she sometimes told embarrassing stories about him to her friends.
It was also nice having her at the team’s late-season trip to Disneyland. The group spent one day there (Halloween) when the crowds were relatively thin. Edwards said he liked the roller coasters best, but it was difficult to get motivated at first became they arrived there after an all-night bus ride from South Jordan.
Now that the season is over, Edwards said he turns 18 on July 3 and planned to go on an LDS Church mission shortly afterward. After that, he’d like to go to college and major in engineering. Music will likely just be a hobby.