New Big Red Marching Band leadership ‘takes flight’

Next year, the marching band hopes to improve communication and increase membership. Working on these goals will be new director Alicia Simpson and new assistant director Adam Tucker.


Taking a back-to-basics approach, Souderton’s Big Red Marching Band will prepare for the upcoming season by welcoming new director Alicia Simpson and music teacher Adam Tucker as the new assistant director.
Both will begin their leadership starting this summer.
According to Simpson, who also teaches technology education at the high school, instead of looking back, she is looking toward the future.
“My goals are that the band grows in size, the members enjoy being a part of the group and have fun playing music together and that we become a more integral part of the school community,” Simpson said.
Familiar with being both a part of the band as well as the staff, Simpson plans to apply her experience as director.
“Marching band was always a fun activity that gave me a sense of purpose and a sense of community and lifelong friendships when I was in it, so I hope to do that for this as well,” Simpson said.
Tucker, who has also served as the marching band’s director, hopes to create a fun and productive environment in his new assistant director role.
“I’m looking forward to having a show specifically written for Souderton. As opposed to a broad show, we’re going to have a show specifically written for them,” Tucker said. “[I’m] just looking forward to going back to having a good time making marching band fun.”
Unlike past shows, next year’s show, “Taking Flight,” was written for Souderton, specifically.
“We are looking at music from films that involve flight. We’re taking music from ‘Star Trek,’ ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and ‘Harry Potter,’” Simpson said.
According to marching band member Lana Gribbin, the shows and spending time with other members is always fun.
“I’ve been watching the marching band in parades and at their shows since I was little because my mom used to help out. I always just thought it was the coolest thing,” Gribbon said. “I wanted to join right away.”
According to Tucker, an advantage of the new directors being current teachers is that members now have direct contact with their directors during the school day.
“I think the biggest difference [from prior years] is that Simpson and I are in the building and we have constant contact with the students involved,” Tucker said. “I really hope that opens up the lines of communication.”
Marching band member Thamir Santos loves the memories he has created in marching band and enjoys spending time with his friends who are also involved. Santos wishes for more team bonding in order to strengthen the band’s connection.
“I hope that we improve on many things such as coordination,” Santos said.
According to drum major Bradley Evans, what he loves most about the band is “all the sheer quality time you spend with your friends.”
“Over a marching band season, you can become really good friends with someone you had never met before, which has happened several times for me,” Evans said.
Evans’ goal as drum major is to put on a show they are all proud of.
“Unfortunately, there is always a better band with more money, so we might not be able to win all of our competitions, but as long as we know that we put our best foot forward, I will be happy,” Evans said.
Gribbon said that each season is rewarding due to both the memories and accomplishments you make in a season.
“It’s so much fun, especially getting to hang out with your friends a lot. It also makes you feel good once the season is over because you put in so much work, and you just leave feeling really accomplished,” Gribbon said.
The band welcomes anyone who may be interested in participating.
“Please don’t be afraid to give it a shot. It’s a great environment, it’s a great culture and it doesn’t take as much time as you think it does,” Tucker said.
Tucker encourages any interested students to join the marching band next year.
“It’s only for the fall if you’re worried about time commitment. Please come out and check it out,” Tucker said.