GM Band to Perform “Gotham”


Joel Linebach conducts the 2016 Lancer Marching Band from the drum major podium.

Hannah Wyman, Editoral Board

“Please welcome the pride and spirit of General McLane, the Lancer Marching Band!” If you have every been to a Friday night football game, then you have definitely heard these words echo on Linden field.

And it’s true. General McLane boasts an extensive music program. With around 160 students in band, nearly 25% of the school’s student body, our high school has many students and talents to be proud of. In fact, the General McLane Marching Band is notorious throughout the Northwestern Pennsylvania area for the amazing shows they perform each year. Shows such as “The Quest,” “An American Promise,” and “Polarity” have all graced the field, but this year we’ll be seeing something different. You’ll hear selected music from Batman as the band performs their 2016 show “Gotham.”


Band director, Mr. Malec, answered some of my questions on the 2016 band season and other miscellaneous topics.


Question: On a scale from 1 to 10 how excited are you about this year’s show?

Mr. Malec: 11


Q: How and why did you pick Gotham?

MM: I had a couple of shows picked out and I went to the arranger and we thought about what would work best for the band.


Q: Which is your favorite Batman movie?

MM: The one from 1967.


Q: Is Batman your favorite superhero?

MM: No.


Q: If you could have any superpower what would it be? Why?

MM: Really long pinkies. Cause I think it would be weird. It wouldn’t [help me save the world]. But it has to be an awkward superpower.


Q: What makes General McLane Marching Band different from any other marching band?

MM: My memories of marching band are the people I was with in the band.


Q: What makes the 2016 General McLane Marching Band different from past marching bands?

MM: You get to be with your friends, it’s fun. I remember being with my friends all the time with camp and traveling and being on the bus and playing and performing. Those are the things I remember and those are the things that I want you guys to remember.


Q: What’s your favorite part of the band?

MM: Being with students who are fun to be with.


Q: What do you hate the most about the band?

MM: Bad weather.


Q: What was your favorite part of last year’s show, “Polarity?”

MM: I really enjoyed the music and I was very proud of how well the guard did.


Q: What’s your favorite section?

MM: I don’t have a favorite section.


Q: Who can join the band?

MM: Anybody that wants to.


Q: Why should someone join the band?

MM: For funsies.


Q: If not now, when?

MM: Forever, everyday, as soon as possible.


Q: Am I your favorite student?

MM: Always.


Q: This next question is from Phoebe Will. How do you manage to be so fabulous?

MM: Well every morning when I get up, I’m fabulous.


Q: What’s you opinion on comic sans font?

MM: Only if there are serifs do I enjoy it.


Q: Tell us your best joke.

MM: What’s brown and sticky? A stick.


Q:  Final Question. What’s the deal with airline food?

MM: Ew!


I also had the chance to sit down with Tammy Deutsch, colorguard instructor, and take up her time by asking her questions.


Question: What are you most excited about this year’s show?

Tammy Deutsch: I am excited just to see the guard and the band grow together this year with a common theme.


Q: Do you think people will like Gotham? Why?

TD: I do. I think a lot of people will relate to it because it’s a movie that everybody knows.


Q: The color guard is pretty big this year, 32 members. Why did you choose to have so many people?

TD: The more color on the field the better visual that it represents.


Q: What makes colorguard so great?

TD: So many things. One, you get to dance and do things you like to do. You get to be with your friends. It’s a stress reliever. There are so many things.  


Q: What kinds of things do you envision the color guard doing this year?

TD: Lots. I expect a lot of villain faces to come out and personalities to come out. A lot of body and motion. A lot of visual.


Q: Am I your favorite color guard member?

TD: I cannot say that.


Q: Any last words for people who are thinking about joining colorguard?

TD: I think that it looks hard but everyone should at least give it an 100% try. Even some of the drama causes some people to be stand offish but I think that in the end everyone’s family and it’s a unit. We come together as a family basically.


Many faces grace the field during a marching band performance. This year, you’ll be seeing two familiar faces and one new face up on the drum major podiums. Joel Linebach and Jennie Jones return for their senior year to direct the band as drum majors. The newest figure you’ll be seeing conduct the band is Alayna Willow, junior drum major. All three were kind enough to answer some of my questions, relevant and irrelevant to band.


Question: How lit is “Gotham?”

Joel Linebach: Gotham is a pretty big city. It has a lot of city lights so I’d say pretty lit.


Jennie Jones: It’s so lit. So lit.


Alayna Willow: I would say like a 9.5. (The other .5 would be lost in attitude problems.)


Q: What’s your favorite part of being drum major?

JL: I really like seeing the development on the field, seeing everyone perform their best, doing what they are capable of, becoming that excellent marcher. At the beginning of the season they don’t know how to march, they don’t know how to play their music, and at the end of the season they have it memorized, their feet are perfect. That sort of thing.


JJ: I get to push Joel of the stand.


AW: Bossing everyone around.


Q: Why did you want to be drum major?

JL: Part of it was the leadership aspect and another part of that was just wanting to help everyone. As drum major it gives me that outlet to help people, be that teacher, be that leader.


JJ: At first I didn’t but then I went to the conducting classes and I thought it was really fun.


Q: How is being drum major different than being in the band?

JL: I will say that there is no marching, so that’s nice. Our shoulders hurt a lot. There are days that I hunch over, look at Jennie and say, “I’m… I’m an old granny today.” It’s all the shoulders. After conducting for two or three hours they cramp up, they feel like they are going to fall off.


JJ: As a drum major, you don’t have to march and you don’t really play an instrument. And you have a lot more responsibilities.


AW: You don’t have to march and you don’t have to play an instrument but it’s equally difficult.


Q: What’s your favorite section?

JL: Flutes. Die hard flute right here.


JJ: Am I allowed to answer this question? Clarinets.


AW: Well the clarinets because I was a clarinet.


Q: Do you have a favorite band tradition?

JL: My favorite band tradition? It’s the stretching. I really like the stretching and just having that moment between the drum majors and the band. Just seeing each other for a couple minuets of the day where we can have fun, be a band, be a family.

JJ: Lolaholalaolahhahla.


AW: Clarinet chant, definitely.


Q: Kale?

JL: Brownies?


JJ: *shrugs*


AW:  Absolutely not.


Q: Thoughts on pants with fake pockets?

JL: Pants with fake pockets. Okay. Pants without pockets is like having a sandwich with no meat or cheese, just two slices of bread.


JJ: Stupid.


AW: I HATE them so much.


Q: On average how many times do you dab per day?

JL: *dabs*


JJ: Probably like 20.


AW: Depending on how many times I sneeze… so depending on the season ‘cause I have allergies.


Q: And lastly, give us your best piece of advice but phrase it like Mr. Roden would say it.

JL: “What you do and plant now, you’ll harvest and reap later. Like a farmer. Yeah. Be a farmer.”


JJ: “Your future is created by what you do today. The time is now.”


AW: “If not now, when?”


It’s clear that the 2016 season is looking bright for the General McLane Marching Band so far. But can they come back from their last place finish in the previous 2015 year’s LMBA championship? It certainly seems that way. Watch them perform this fall during halftime at Friday night football games and Saturdays at LMBA competitions. “Gotham” is sure be unlike anything General McLane has ever marched before. And that’s in their favor because the GM Lancer Marching Band isn’t here to play, they’re here to win.


(Pictures taken by Kim Shradder)