The Herd’s no-auditon policy puts the emphasis on teamwork

A Marching Band is often imagined to be an intense program with strict rules and elite musicians marching lockstep. Weaker musicians are left behind as the marchers prepare year-round. The Herd shatters those preconceptions. Their motto is unlike any other; it’s about working together and accepting everyone. Teamwork is necessary for success.
Scott Rabehl directs the marching band, his style of teaching is to accept every student that wants to be in marching band. The advantages for that is the group is larger. Although performers do have to work and put in effort for a spot, he lets everyone have an opportunity.
Some people cut their experience short in the week called “Sweat Camp.” This camp is over the span of a week, where students practice marching routines in the Summer heat, up to a total of eight hours a day.
Rabehl has coached several places in the Minnesota area, including Anoka, Blaine, and Coon Rapids. His most successful marching band would be “The Herd” at Buffalo.
If a student isn’t able to perform up to the highest standards, they perform anyway. The group commits to helping each member perform at their best. There are no cuts. Drum Major’s and section leaders help them throughout the season.
“Out of 145 kids, there are going to be around 12 kids that are out of step,” Rabehl said. “They come back the next year and their mistakes have been improved. We are willing to accept that. It’s a very accepting atmosphere. Everyone wishes that everybody was great, and it’s all about self-discipline, because you have to be able to manage yourself. If kids are super in need of extra practice, the drum majors, section leaders, or the captains will give them tips and help them.”
Unlike other high school marching band directors, Rabehl isn’t a professional. He learns from his mistakes, makes improvements and makes changes in his own methods of teaching. There is no official rankings for the marching band season. However, Buffalo is considered to be one of the top 10 groups in the state. We have recently talked to an out of state Marching band located in Rogers, Arkansas to compare the differences of the two bands nationally.
“Before any students are allowed to participate in marching band in Rogers, they have to have had 3 years of middle school band experience,” said Rogers Band Director Bill Rowen.
Although there are no auditions, a major part of the commitment is participating in all required performances and rehearsals.
“Students who cannot follow through with their commitment to the RHS Band cannot remain a member of the band,” said Rowen. “All students and their parents are required to sign a ‘contract’ each year that solidifies this commitment.”
Rabehl has had positive impacts on his students. Junior Megan Pearson, joined in the summer going into 9th grade.
“Rabehl is very strict, but inspirational,” said Pearson.
The reason Pearson joined is because she had friends doing it. She has continued doing it ever since.
The Herd has had many successful seasons. Their success is a big part due to Rabehl. In his experience of 9 years for The Herd, he has had a positive impact on the band. They have been all over the country to places such as Washington D.C. and Boulder, CO. Rabehl is confident that their success will carry into the future.

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