By: Olivia Damon
For student Morgan Fleming, Western Michigan University’s Bronco Marching Band is her passion and what she wants to pursue in life, as she hopes to one day lead her own high school marching band.
Now that the football team has earned itself a place in the Jan. 2 Cotton Bowl, the marching band will be going too, and practicing well into a snowy December.
The football team won the 2016 Marathon MAC Championship game at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. Fleming was happy to be going to Detroit to a regional championship. “We’re all really excited. It’s so much fun.” Now, the excitement is even greater for she and other band members.
The 19-year-old sophomore is a music education major. She plays the piccolo in the Bronco Marching Band, for which she is a drill instructor. A drill instructor is responsible for the visual aspects of how their section moves on the field.
“It teaches this thing of excellence. It’s something greater than ourselves,” said Fleming. “When we’re playing in a group, it makes it even better. We’re sharing the same emotional experience.”
Fleming’s friend and fellow marching band member Brandie Rohlfs, 20, a WMU junior majoring in psychology and Spanish, plays the clarinet in the marching band, and is a section leader. A section leader deals with leading a section and assisting musicians with their music and how it is played.
“When you’re in an ensemble, there are so many people you can depend on. There is much more of a team and family environment going on.” Rohlfs said.
Fleming and Rohlfs are also in Sigma Alpha Iota, a fraternity with the goal of enriching the community through music. It’s clear that although they love to share music with the community, it consumes their day-to-day lives as well.