One Big Band Family

Largim Zhuta
Staff Writer

Throughout the Region V Tournament, you’ve seen some mixing of the various pep bands. Don’t let the sight of a Juneau-Douglas band mercenary playing with Kayhi set you into a frenzy. It’s perfectly alright for the students to play with other bands — even the rivals. In fact, the band students enjoy it and look forward to it.
Four-year Kayhi Pep Band member, Sarah Kuharich, believes that the inter-band cooperation transcends the rivalry that’s associated with the basketball teams.
“The rivalries don’t really exist with-in Pep Band, ” said Kuharich. “We aren’t competing with each other. It’s just really fun for all of us to get to play with our friends from southeast.”
Kayhi Band Director Thomas Brooks attributes the comradery to the various music events held in Southeast Alaska.
“We all see each other a lot. We all do Sitka Jazz Fest or Music Fest,” said Brooks. “We are basically one big band family.”
These mercenaries for hire also help make Region Tournaments more lively and enjoyable for the smaller schools who don’t have the massive number of band students that Kayhi does.
“Trevor (Holt) and I played with a band that had 11 students and Thunder Mountain today. It was crazy,” said Kuharich. “They were wild, and it was just fun to play with and support other teams.”
Not only do the students enjoy it, but the addition of these band mercs “creates a positive vibe” in the entire gym and tournament, according to Brooks.
“We hype up the party,” said Brooks. “If we can do that and help smaller teams, especially ones that have smaller bands and hype them up, it’s really awesome.”

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