Music Notes: All about Hudson’s Swing Marching Band

How the “Loud is Good” group turns notes and rhythms into riveting halftime shows
Marching band members cheer to Where is the Party? after theyre encouraged by Hudsons Student Section at a football game against North Canton Hoover. Used with permission/Loud is Good Facebook.
Marching band members cheer to “Where is the Party?” after they’re encouraged by Hudson’s Student Section at a football game against North Canton Hoover. Used with permission/Loud is Good Facebook.

For most Hudson students, Friday nights during the first weeks of school are for cheering on the football team at football games in the Student Section.

But for 130 Hudson High students, Friday nights are for music. 

The Hudson High School Swing Marching Band performs at every varsity football home and away game. In addition to this weekly commitment, the marching band gives back to the community by making music at the Memorial Day Parade, JOANN Fabrics Pink Walk, some Hudson Hawks games and the Annual Parade of Bands.

The band is composed of ten types of instruments, including Baritones, Clarinets, Drums (Percussion), Flutes/Piccolos, Mellophones (Horns), Saxophones, Trombones, Trumpets and Tubas. They are led by Head Director Katharine Reed as well as Assistant Directors Jacob Moore and John Burrington.

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Unlike most other marching bands in the Suburban League, Hudson has a dance line instead of a colorguard. The dance line is coached by Jennifer Kibler but is mainly run by the seniors on the team. The Band Dancers choreograph dances to each song that the marching band picks for the season and perform the dance alongside the band. 

Senior Maya Vizmeg, one of the Band Dancers, shares that “The Danceline is something I’ve been doing since my freshman year. You really feel a part of cheering on the football team, because you’re right there on the sidelines. “

The Marching Band plays during Hudson’s first home game of the season against Cleveland Heights. Used with permission/Loud is Good Facebook.

The marching band gets into “the swing of things” in July before the school year starts. Marching band members are required to attend an intensive Band Camp at Marietta College for five or six days. Students stay on campus the entire time by sleeping in the dorms and eating in the dining halls. As well as the 10 parent chaperones and the multiple marching band directors, there are 10 guest musicians hired to work with students in sectionals on certain afternoons. By the time the camp is over, the marching band has practiced most of their pieces and is in great shape for the rest of their season. 

The musicians and dancers are always left with mixed emotions about Band Camp, which involves continuous practicing in the hot, summery weather. Still, most band members come out of it enjoying their experience and their memories with other musicians. 

Sophomore Clarinet Player Elizabeth Thompson shares that Band Camp “Is definitely a lot. There are some moments that are more tiring than others, but it’s still a fun time and you end up making a lot of memories.”

Vizmeg agrees that Band Camp is very involved. “I think Band Camp is fun. Of course, you’re exhausted the entire time because you’re up early and don’t go to bed until late, but you’re with all your friends. We get to bond with the new dancers and really get to know each other. [The dancers] always seem to get obliterated by the band kids during our annual dodgeball game, though.”

Reed believes that Band Camp is perfect for the students since it allows them to front-load their work for marching band before school starts so they can focus on academics once the school year begins. 

Additionally, attending Band Camp is one of Reed’s favorite memories with the group. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a moment where we get to escape from Hudson and just be with each other as musicians. We get to know one another on a closer level, and the memories we make at Band Camp are always unforgettable.” 

Head Director Katherine Reed stands amongst the marching band at a home game against Wadsworth. Used with permission/Loud is Good Facebook.

During the school year, most of their performances are on Fridays, which is an action-packed day for marching band members. During 10th period, when the band rehearses, they have “No Folio Fridays,” which is where band members get to celebrate if they have all their music for their upcoming show memorized. All members also rehearse their songs for the night’s show in performance order to ensure each piece is perfect.

The rest of the night is even busier, as the band must arrive extra early before the game begins. If it’s a home game, the marching band is expected to come to the high school around 6:15. Students have to arrive much earlier for away games since they have to account for time to load the buses, travel to a different school, familiarize themselves with the settings of a new school and get into marching formation. 

Before leaving for the field, the marching band goes through warmups and runs through all their music. The squad leaders are in charge of making sure everyone’s uniforms are up to par. 

Once the game begins, the marching band plays short tunes based on how the team is doing. During halftime, Hudson’s marching band performs full songs with the band dancers. The marching band and dancers have the third quarter off to take a break and socialize with friends who may not be in band, and they’re back at it again for the fourth quarter.

One of two Head Seniors, Sam Farabee, conducts “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Home football game against Brecksville commences. Used with permission/Loud is Good Facebook.

Head Senior and Drumline/Percussion player Sam Farabee believes football games for band members are something you have to be a part of to understand. “I think band is very special at football games because obviously in the Student Section, everyone has chosen to come to the game because they want to watch the team hopefully win, right? Or else they wouldn’t have shown up to the game. But for band, since it’s a part of your grade, you have to show up. You kind of have this different perspective. We’re always super hyped and excited during the games, no matter if our team is winning or losing. If we’re doing bad, we’re obviously upset because we never enjoy losing, but as band members, we’re there to have fun and hopefully make the crowd happy.”

For this year’s exciting halftime performances, the marching band had two different themed shows. The first part of the season featured the “Inferno” show, with songs like “Fireball,” “Hot Hot Hot,” “Disco Inferno” and “Dynamite.” A memorable part of these shows was when the band spelled out “HOT” during their “Hot Hot Hot” number.  

The second show’s theme was “Friday Night Football,” where all the songs had something to do with the energy you’d expect at a football game. The songs included “Hold On I’m Coming,” “Confident,” “Cheerleader,” and “Believer.” A highlight of this show is when the Cheer and Sparkle Cheer Team danced on the field during Cheerleader. 

There were also separate song selections during the Homecoming Game and Senior Night to celebrate the special occasions. Many seniors were ecstatic to bring back a favorite from their freshman year, “Runaway Baby,” during their Senior show. During Senior Night, the seniors could easily be identified as they all had funky modifications to their hats, such as a hat made of multiple band hats, a hat with drumsticks around it, and a hat made of the cookie bags found in the school lunch line.

If you ask any marching band member why they continue coming back year after year, every musician says it’s for the friends and community that the marching band creates. There’s something about countless hours of practice during rehearsals that creates an incredibly strong bond, especially for a group as big as the swing marching band.

Assistant Band Director Mr. Moore conducts the marching band during a football game against Stow. Used with permission/Loud is Good Facebook.

Reed shares that her students fuel her enthusiasm with the Hudson Marching Band. “Being a teacher is one of the toughest jobs out there because it’s never just a 9 to 5 job. But it’s the students that make the job so special. I feel very lucky to have a top-notch crew of students to create music with.” 

Farabee has a similar perspective. “The friends I’ve made through band I’ve kept throughout my four years in high school because they’re such great people. It’s really nice to have a group of people come together because of one activity. There are so many types of people in band, with different personalities and backgrounds, but we all have one similar love: marching band.”

Thompson also thinks, “Marching band is an amazing way to meet new people and work on communication skills. I met so many people my freshman year and I’m glad to be with them again this year.” 

Whether you’ve been following Hudson’s Marching Band for years or weren’t even aware the school had a band, their music is what makes football games more exciting to all. The next time you’re cheering on the Hudson Explorers, remember the dedication every marching band member has put into this pivotal addition to football games.

Music Notes is a column published each quarter that covers the various music groups within the Hudson High School Music Department. This column’s purpose is to provide more awareness of the music opportunities at the high school. For more information on all the music ensembles’ upcoming events, head to

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