Shaken, not stirred

S.H.S.’s marching band takes the field


Senior drum major Kiara Olinger marches the S.H.S Band. This is Kiara’s second year as drum major.

 With the bright lights on Friday nights lighting the way for the Golden Warriors football team, the marching band once again provides the soundtrack for all who attend. 

  As is custom, S.H.S.’s marching band selects a theme for the season and Bond, James Bond, is the 2022 S.H.S. marching band’s theme. This year’s band is once again conducted by Brenden O’Donnell, with returning drum major Kiara Olinger, and brand new drum major Avery Knowles.

  “I picked James Bond because there is a deep history with the music and the movies,” said O’Donnell. “Every generation has experienced James Bond since the 60s so I thought it was a fun way to connect with the fans.”

  The band started the season by performing at the first home football game. In between the first and the second home football game for the Golden Warriors, there 

was a four-week period where the band was able to really put together the spy themed halftime. 

  O’Donnell said, “It was very productive. Since we aren’t a competitive marching band, it can be tough to find time to help develop the songs and the halftime show. We do have band camp that goes on in the summer but not everyone was there so the four- week period really helped us tune things up for the halftime show and parades.”  

  The band has seen a steady growth and is slowly creating O’Donnell’s vision, 

with something new added every year. 

  “We have a percussion ensemble, which allows me to work with percussion students more in-depth. I always felt they were almost forgotten about when it came to learning music. The band is all back together for the first time in four years, because of COVID. I was excited about that because I knew the students enjoyed being together, especially the younger classmen. We also have the opportunity to get new band uniforms,” shared O’Donnell. 

  O’Donnell can’t lead the large group alone and selects drum majors every year.

  To be considered for the drum major position, juniors and seniors are able to apply. “From there I call in students for an interview to see how they would handle multiple situations, kind of like a job interview. I wanted it to be an opportunity to have something to work for like in the real world.” 

  Returning drum major Olinger and newly-appointed Knowles don’t take the responsibility lightly. 

  “I was excited and it was really important to me. I was really nervous going in,” said returning drum major Kiara Olinger. 

  Knowles echoed Olinger’s excitement.

  “Honestly, I was sort of nervous at first but proud that my audition went well and that I’d be able to help lead the band. I was also excited to find out I’d be doing it with Kiara. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from O’Donnell since the beginning of the school year, met many wonderful people in class, and I’ve had a great experience so far,” said Knowles. 

  The drum majors are some of the key elements to helping the band operate, as well as being role models to underclassmen. 

  Olinger expressed, “I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress this year when it comes to the halftime shows and parades, but as a band as well.” 


In this high-position, expectations can be high but Knowles stated, “It’s been going a lot better than I hoped for, everyone has been able to learn the songs and field movements really well, even the freshmen. It helps that a lot of people attended band camp this summer so we had more time to prepare for our performances.” 

  With the band’s sideline tunes and the trombone concussion crew, there are many memorable experiences the band brings to the football games. 

  There is only one home football game left in the regular season for the Sterling Golden Warriors, and the band is ready to entertain the crowd one last time.

  The halftime show consists of numerous tunes from the many generations of James Bond, from the James Bond theme song, with “No Time To Die” by Billie Ellish following with “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney. 

  For these songs, band director Brenden O’Donnel and drum majors Kiara Olinger and Avery Knowles conduct while the band forms the “007” logo and a clock with players moving as the clock hands. Solo acts are performed by horn players Mason Near and Alex Finn. 

  Make sure to show for the last home game on October 21st for the last performance for the marching band, as well as senior night for the football team, band, poms, and cheer. See you then!