Marshall Band’s Last Stand????
I thought that this title would not come today. Marshall High School is losing one of the best groups that the school had since it’s birth year of 1961, the Marshall Band is making it’s final run in the semester. It’s very unfortunate for me as an alumnus to sit here and swallow the bad news about a program that I once endured for my four years, getting to a point of extinction. This is like a freakin’ nightmare. It’s more than a bad dream in October! The reason the band program is departing or in this case “retiring” because the school doesn’t have enough funds, and the school is going to be split in three different high schools in one building, similar to North Division has done this year. Since the news broke, I couldn’t help myself to reflect my best memories in an eagles uniform:
  • I first came to John Marshall in 1991 at age 14. My first (and last) activity was with the Marshall Band.
  • Mr. Mark Grauer was there until his departure in 1993
  • Amy Hufnal was there in September 1994, and is continuing the program until this day.
  • In 1992, the Marshall Band won the Grand Marshals Award for the (now defunct) City of Festivals Parade.
  • During my 4 years, Marshall was invited to participate in Band Day at Northwestern University.
  • I had the opportunity to represent the Red/Blue with the WSMA, Milwaukee Police Band and High School Honors Band
  • My field trips to with the band also included Captiol Court, Holland Tulip Festival, A SC Johnson Wax exposition that featured Marshall Alum, Mike Gousha.
  • My final band appearance was on June 8th, 1995 – the night of my High School Graduation at age 18.
  • In my sophomore year, 1992/1993 I was apart of the first ever Jazz Band that featured events of Rainbow Summer and a Black History Program that I got some respect!
  • Marshall Band has marched in other activities such as the Menomonee Falls Xmas Parade, Veteran’s Day Parade,  Very Special Arts, 2 Halloween Parades, and the All City Honors Band.

For almost 50 years, the Marshall Band has been a pillar of community service in the City of Milwaukee. I feel even more sorry for those who would never had a chance to experience more out the music program. Simply put, for me the Band was a special opportunity to stay of trouble, and make a difference in the community. That difference is reflected on me each day when I drive past the school, or look a the yearbooks, or the website or just talking about it. In speaking of spirit, I can remember one story that has to do with my first year at Marshall that dealt with school safety. In, 1991 the school was facing problems of violence that had the students and parents (mainly my own) concerned. There was a town meeting about the incidents which led the principal fired, and changing of standards of safety. In the thursday leading to homecoming day, one of the administrators, Mr. Tolfer came into the band room. We were rehearsing, and I remember him stating that the band was the last hope of bring joy back to the student body. The day of the game, it brought smiles to people that the band was attempting to resurrect the school. That right there, is a spirit story. I hope and pray that Marshall would one day to bring up “a new band” to help generate a purpose in the school, but mostly to give the students an opportunity to shine in spirit.

Source of info: Marshall Band’s Last Homecoming

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