Marching Warriors Find Strength in Spirit, But Not in Numbers


Mady Mertens

Mighty Marching Warriors: For North Atlanta’s band, a shortage in numbers does not correlate to a shortage in spirit.

The pandemic has changed a number of traditions, norms, and organizations at North Atlanta this year, and among them is the glorious band. This year, the team has just 33 members, a number significantly lower than in years past. Their small size, though a challenge for the Marching Warriors, doesn’t appear to be holding back their impact on Dub spirit. Dedicated band members come to practice consistently, ready to show off their musical talents as a unit and bolster school spirit on Friday nights.

Now on the rebound, band director Mr. Brooks describes the challenges that the Band has had to overcome this year. Many of the kids missed out on a lot of skill development during quarantine, so the team has to play catch up. “Coming out of the pandemic period and virtual school year, the hiatus drastically affected our members,” he said. “We started in the summer with 15 members, but thankfully, the number jumped to 33 at the beginning of September.”

Just like a sport, taking part in the band is a commitment and a team bonding experience. Juniors Terrance Adams and Kyler Garrick are living proof of it. The inseparable pair became instant friends through their shared interest in music. Garrick, a three-year band member, has noticed how the pandemic has stolen the motivation and shifted the focus of possible band newcomers, but all hope is not lost. Adams, a newcomer, and others like him, give Garrick hope for the Marching Warriors. “Overall the band is a good experience, and we have a lot of talented students. Seeing guys like Terrance realize what an enriching experience being in the band is, and seeing him truly getting something out of his time makes it worth it for me to stay involved,” Garrick said.

Perhaps the part most enriching and worth it all for the Marching Warriors is their impact on spirit at North Atlanta’s football games. Every Friday night under the lights, the band’s unmistakable percussion presence can be felt igniting the student section. Senior Aislin Ward can attest to the band’s success as she attends every North Atlanta football game, soaking every priceless moment of her senior year. “I love the energy that they bring to the games and I always watch them at halftime,” Ward said. “Their presence is the cherry on top that makes these small high school football games more authentic.”

Loved by all Dubs faithful, the Marching Warriors have worked hard this year to put on a show every weekend and to maintain enthusiasm at a time where motivation has been hard to come by. The Dubs band may be short in numbers, but there is no shortage in the spirit, enrichment, and the impact that they bring to members and the North Atlanta community.