Band breaks sound barrier

Wind, brass and percussion. Out of the 1686 students at Puyallup High School, over 170 of them are enrolled in band.

Senior Tiffany Nomakchteinsky plays a important role in the band as a drum major this school year, along with senior Maddy Lucas. At home games during football and basketball season, Nomakchteinsky can be found directing the band to peppy tunes.

“We definitely got a significant amount of sophomores this year and it is really exciting to know that people want to be involved,” Nomakchteinsky said. “Band helps with a lot of aspects of your life. You learn time management and how to play an instrument which definitely helps you educationally and in many other aspects. It is a really great program for high school students to be a part of.”

Nomakchteinsky has been in band since her sophomore year but started in the fifth grade Beginning Band.

Though being drum major is a long time commitment, Nomakchteinsky thoroughly enjoys being involved.

“You have to be really outgoing, cheery and inviting toward the sophomores that come in. A lot of them are really scared and a little bit intimidated by everyone but band is this little community and safe haven,” Nomakchteinsky said.

Band teacher Eric Ryan teaches jazz band before school, three different levels of concert bands along with the percussion ensemble. Though he has more students this year than ever before, he says the bands size has only increased his enthusiasm.

“For the first time in Puyallup history that I have researched, we have a full-day schedule of bands. I cannot think of anything really negative [regarding the band size]. It is all positive,” Ryan said.

Every three years the band takes a trip to Southern California and this year they are traveling to perform at Disney Parks.

“Sometimes when we do a trip year, there are extra students because everybody wants to go. Maybe they were thinking about doing a different elective but since we are doing the trip they are sticking with band instead,” Ryan said. “It is early in the year but so far everything has been great. There are a lot of great players, I am really happy so far.”

Sophomore Michael Lindner also plays in the wind ensemble, he started band at Kalles Junior High and tells how respect plays a key role in their success.

“We sound good for one thing. Everyone is respectful, listens to what they’re being told and acts on it. They’re dedicated to individual practice and everyone works really hard so we sound good,” Lindner said.

The band at PHS is dedicated and determined to succeed to say the least. However, Lindner tells how the case was not the same at Kalles Junior High.

“There was not a lot of motivation. We really had to push people in order to get them to do anything but overall we sounded pretty good. The instrumentation [at PHS] which is how many of each instrument we have, seems to be pretty good [compared to Kalles],” said Lindner.

The enormous size of the band has already greatly contributed to school spirit. The bigger the better in this case.

“I feel there is definitely a lot more spirit during football and basketball games. The more the better when it comes to drum major because you just have more people shouting at you and more people to back you up when you’re dancing and doing crazy things,” Nomakchteinsky said.