The Grant High School Marching Band had their competitive premiere of their 2012 show, “The Resistance,” at the Bands of America Pontiac Regional on October 06.

Under the direction of Andrew Buikema, the 78-member Grant High School Marching Band will represent Humanity’s struggle against The Establishment in “The Resistance.”

The musical selections for “The Resistance” include the following:

  • “Dies Irae” from Verdi’s Requium
  • “Nimrod” from Enigma Variations (Elgar)
  • Selections from Muse:
    • “Take a Bow”
    • “Butterflies and Hurricanes”
    • “United States of Eurasia”
    • “Knights of Cydonia”

On the field, the Classical selections, combined with the color Black, will be used to represent The Establishment. The Muse selections and the color Purple will represent Humanity. Throughout the show, the two are continually in conflict. The angular drill and rigid movements of The Establishment will contrast with curvilinear drill and flowing movements from the Guard. Though in struggle, Humanity eventually overtakes The Establishment.

Grant’s design process begins usually in Late-December to Mid-January, where Mr. Buikema and a few others start sharing ideas and discussing the just ended year’s seasons. “Sometimes we come up with the new show idea right away, and sometimes will take until March to decide.”

Band at Grand is co-curricular, with students receiving grades and Physical Education credit while being in Marching Band. In addition to class time, Grant has one full ensemble, three-hour evening rehearsal and two hours of scheduled sectional time each week. Andrew Buikema feels that Grant may rehearse less than other bands, but his philosophy is to “be efficient with your time and get a lot done in a short amount of time.”

“I adopted this idea,” he told us, “from the former Mona Shores band director, Jack Adams. He was able to teach me how to run an effective, yet highly accomplished program.”

Andrew Buikema has high expectations for his students, and each summer he and the band collaborate on goals to accomplish for the upcoming year. “As we accomplish those goals we check them off the board.”

This fall, Grant competed at BOA Pontiac (10/06), earning second place in Class A, and is scheduled to attend Great Lakes Invitational (10/13), Jenison (10/20), West Shore Invitational (10/27), MCBA State Finals* (11/03), BOA Grand Nationals (11/08).

 The 78-member band is comprised of the following members:

  • 2 Field Commanders
  • 20 Woodwinds
  • 20 Brass
  • 8 Field Percussion
  • 10 Sideline Percussion
  • 10 Color Guard
  • 8 Prop Students

Additional Staff for the Grant High School Marching Band include:

  • Jim Walsh – Percussion writer, tech
  • Laura Zeichman – Battery / Pit tech
  • Kayleigh Price – Guard Choreographer / tech
  • Makenna Moore – Guard tech
  • Andrew Raven – Woodwind tech;
  • Jon Schulz – Brass Tech
  • Chelsey Fandrick – Woodwind Tech
  • Tom Weidner – Music Arranger


*MCBA State Finalists are not determined until after the final week of ‘regular’ MCBA competition, which this year is October 27. The top 12 scoring bands in each competitive Flight will be asked to perform in State Finals at Ford Field in Detroit, this year on November 3. Based on Grant’s recent performance history, it can be safely anticipated that they will qualify for State in Flight IV.

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