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Throughout the girls basketball games in Independence on Friday night, the members of the Vinton-Shellsburg and Independence pep bands sat on opposite sides of the court, cheering loudly at times and chanting their school names.
But for a while, the musical opponents stood together, playing each other's fight songs, a variety of other popular music and the Star Spangled Banner.
VS Band Directors Karl Smith and Independence Band Director Dave Lang are good friends, and Lang invited the VS band to join his musicians in a combined performance. The VS and Independence cheerleaders also participated.
"Mr. Lang and I have been wanting to do this for quite some time," said Smith. "The Vinton-Shellsburg Band students and parents get along so well with the Independence Band students and parents. We are used to supporting each other (marching band, concert band, and jazz band). We both agree that it teaches the students great sportsmanship. It also teaches the students how to not only work with others from their school, but with other students that they are not used to working with on a regular basis. The neat part is that the goal remains the same: to work together/to perform together and try to put out a quality product. There is nothing more unifying than music and the fact that we are able to combine both bands (over 150 students) on a stage and play and support each other is really cool."
Smith thanked the Independence and VS administrations and staff, and the Independence band directors (Mr. Lang, Mrs. Lang, and Mr. Jennerjohn) for their warm welcome.
"The students really enjoyed the pizza party and the entire mass pep band experience at Independence HS. Thank you also to our V/S transportation, staff, and students that helped make this possible. I think I can speak for the students, but we had such a great time." said Smith.
The Independence Band Students will be coming to VSHS later in January to once again perform a mass pep band with the VSHS pep band.
The next game that the VSHS Pep Band will be performing at will be this Tuesday's basketball game at 7:30 P.M.
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