They've been practicing for weeks. Finally, it's time to play under the lights before a home crowd.
The marching band at Reservoir High School in Fulton is ready.
When the 67-member band plays Friday night during halftime during the Centennial at Reservoir football game, it will be led by Senior Drum Major Troy Anlage and Junior Drum Major Desmond Capers. This is Anlage's second year as a drum major and Capers' first.
"Both young men have earned the respect of their peers, which allows them to perform their job effectively," said David Bacon, who teaches marching band. "They are both superb musicians, which is obviously important, but they are also great leaders and role models for the rest of the band.
"Their role in the marching band is to conduct the band during performances. They also help teach small groups of students, assist in marching instruction and facilitate all our marching band rehearsals."
Bacon's title at Reservoir is "Director of Bands," and he earns it by teaching Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble and two guitar classes at Reservoir.
This is Bacon's first year at Reservoir, but he has nine years of experience working with marching bands.
He graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in music education and has a master's in music from James Madison University. He previously taught at a high school in Chesapeake, Va., and at a middle school in Wilmington, Del.
He's enjoyed his short time so far in Howard County.
"The students, from day one, have been very focused," said Bacon. "It made the transition of having a new band director very seamless because the students already have high expectations and they all have a good idea of what it takes to perform at a high level.
"On August 16 we had our 'Parent Preview Performance' for friends and family of the band. There was a high level of excitement for that performance, but I get the feeling that the students are ready to go under the lights at the football game and show the community what they have been working on for the last month."
The band is scheduled to play three selections Friday night during its patriotic-themed halftime show, which is titled "American Celebrations." For those with stopwatches, it will last approximately 7 minutes and 15 seconds.
Like the football team, the band's performance Friday night is only the beginning. They will play at every home football game and also at three regional marching band competitions — one in September, October and November.
And on Oct. 26, Reservoir will host "Music in Motion," a marching band competition involving as many as 15 schools from the area.
Let the music begin.