Band makes every game special

By Mark McGowan

Although Huskie Marching Band practice in the Huskie Stadium ended about 20 minutes ago, Director Frank Bibb is still on the field.

He’s playing football with a handful of his students.

Bibb, now in his sixth season as marching band director, said the band is doing nothing special for the Homecoming game.

“Every show is super important to us,” Bibb said. He said the only difference the Homecoming show will have from other shows is an “all-age appeal” to please both current students and alumni.

The band practices four days a week and performs not only at the football contests, but parades as well. “We were in the Labor Day parade in Chicago,” Bibb said.

The band also marches in the Homecoming parade and Sycamore’s Pumpkin Festival parade. Bibb said the band is unofficially considering leading a nationally-televised parade in Chicago honoring Lech Walensa.

The band’s presentation changes with each game—a move Bibb said is needed to maintain the band’s interest. He said the band would be bored and would “respond negatively” if they repeated the same show every time.

Bibb said the Marching Huskies are a “drum and bugle corps style band.” The band uses a smooth-glide step rather than a high-kicking step which is better for playing music and enhances sound, Bibb said. They also have somewhat of a “contemporary” sound, but Bibb said the band “needs to be more contemporary.”

“We can’t forget we’re an educational tool,” he said. “We’re training future band directors out there. The field is competitive.”

Bibb said the band of 265 members is “by far the largest band I’ve ever had.

“This is the best playing band I’ve had and next-to-best, if not the best, marchers I’ve had—and this is only the third week of school.”

In addition to Bibb, the band is guided by an assistant director, a percussion instructor, a color guard instructor and the Silverettes (a 42-piece drill and dance squad)instructor.

“We’re a family kind of unit,” Bibb said. “We play and work as a unit. When it’s time to play, we’ll play, but if it’s time to work we’ll work hard.

“We do the best we can,” Bibb added. “We never do anything halfway—all of our shows are so damn special.”