Attendees of Saturday night’s football game were treated to an unusual halftime show usually performed by the Lancer marching band. Accompanying the band were high school band students from Marshall Fundamental Secondary School who performed two pieces with the Lancers before leaving the field.

The collaboration was the brainchild of Marshall Eagles Marching Band director Joel Lopez and Kyle Luck, director of bands at PCC.

“I went over to speak to the band back in May,” said Luck.

Luck was at Marshall High to talk to the band students about PCC and its band program when he realized that it would be great if the students at Marshall could get a taste of the college band experience.

“He said, ‘Look why don’t you come out to collaborate for the college football game next year,’” said Lopez. “And here we are.”

To prepare for the collaboration, Luck sent Lopez the sheet music, which the Marshall band director then passed on to his students who practiced to make sure they performed well at the halftime show.

For high school students, this was a unique opportunity to experience what it would be like to join a college marching band.

“It gives me an idea what band at PCC is like because I’m thinking of coming here next year,” said Marshall senior Uriel Lara Cervantes.

While Luck also saw this as an opportunity to recruit students into the PCC band program, his main goal was to promote college and interest Marshall students in the various musical disciplines they could join.

“Some of them have never been to a college let alone seen a college music major or college music experience so they’re thrilled,” said Lopez.

Lopez’ students weren’t the only ones invested in the collaboration. Band members at PCC were encouraged to mentor the high school students for the short time they met to perform for the halftime show.

“They just kind of went with the section and the older people tried to help them out,” said Lancer band member Christopher Calderon.

During the halftime show, Marshall band students poured onto the field after the Lancers performed their field showpiece. Wearing white t-shirts, Marshall students stood out from their college counterparts who were decked out in their band uniforms. Each high schooler stood next to a Lancer to help them in case they had questions or made a mistake.

“Our college guys got to feel like they had a moment,” said Luck. “They got to show an appreciative group of students here what each of us is doing.”

Did Marshall live up to expectations?

“We just had the high school kids play for us and they blew us away,” said Luck.

Lopez was thrilled that his students played so well. He also encouraged his students to soak up the opportunity and explore options outside their high school.

“A great school like PCC, where the music program has really high standards, it just opens their eyes a little bit and shows them what they can be and what they can aspire to,” said Lopez.

According to Luck, he plans to continue this tradition of inviting high schools to perform with the Lancers.

“Eventually we’ll grow this into other bands coming different nights perhaps,” said Luck. “We wanted to make this just about Marshall tonight.”

 

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