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  • Fairbury News staff

Marching to a familiar beat

Members of the PCHS marching band practice Tuesday afternoon.

The sounds of drumbeats and instruments are filling the air in Fairbury this week as it is band camp time for Prairie Central High School.

This is the point in the summer when the PC Marching Hawks learn the drill and music for their marching band show which will be performed throughout the fall season. Band camp began late last week and takes place through Friday on the practice field east of the high school. This year’s show has a number theme.

“It’s all classical music so it starts with Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and works through a couple of other things,” explains PCHS band director Eric Hall. “There is a jazz waltz, two is a tango then it transitions to classic rock.”

High school musicians were busy marching around the field Tuesday afternoon listening to instructions given by Hall from high atop the band tower under mostly sunny skies with a light August breeze.

“We are getting a lot of work done and I think we are going to be super good at the end of the season,” said band member Ashlyn Kratochvil.

Student Katie Elbert admits this can be a stressful time of year but proper time management makes it all possible.

“They’re picking it up really quickly so we are getting a lot of work done,” Elbert said.

“It’s interesting all the time,” added student Evan Slagel.

Kratochvil, Elbert and Slagel all balance marching band with other high school activities. Kratochvil is also in 4-H, FFA and basketball plus shows pigs and cows during the summer. Elbert is involved with FFA, student senate, choir and dance. Slagel also participates in FFA and has a job.

A marching band preview is planned for parents on Friday and members of the public will have plenty of opportunities to see the Marching Hawks this fall – at all five home football games and four contests at Pontiac, Dunlap, Illinois Wesleyan and the University of Illinois.

You can follow along throughout the season by following Prairie Central Band on Facebook.

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