If you want respect, you have to put in the work.

And what the Whetstone High School marching band is working on is "Respect."

The band's first halftime show of the 2019 season is "Queen of Soul," featuring Aretha Franklin's "Respect," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Think."

To ensure the show is ready when the band first takes the field Aug. 30, director Josh Reynolds started rehearsals earlier this month, meeting from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays for two weeks starting Aug. 5.

The rehearsals begin with such fundamentals as marching and alignment as well as music memorization, but by the end of the two-week band camp, Reynolds will have taught both the season-long pregame show and the first halftime show as well.

For Reynolds, the purpose of the hard work is less about respect and more about pride -- the pride his students take in their ensemble, school and community and the pride the community and school feel for the band.

"We're active in the community," Reynolds said, citing 52 performances of some group of Whetstone instrumental-music students in the previous school year.

"Our goal is for the Clintonville community to see what these kids are doing."

"All of this hard work we're doing now and throughout the season is so we look really good," senior saxophonist and marching band president Anna Absalom said. "That's always been the case, but it's different because I'm looking at it as a senior and from a leadership standpoint."

In addition to learning a new show for each home football game, the band will perform at the Columbus City Schools Marching Band Invitational as well as the school's homecoming parade in October and the Columbus Veterans Day parade in November.

The highlight of the season will be a December trip to perform at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The 92-member marching band is bolstered by 30 incoming freshmen, Reynolds said. The large class is due, in part, he said, to recruiting at both Dominion and Indianola middle schools.

"We have a middle school night every year where those kids can come and be part of our game day, so parents and students can all see what it is we do and hopefully get excited about it," Reynolds said.

Absalom recalled her own experience as a middle schooler as a primary reason why she wanted to be in the band at Whetstone.

"I remember seeing the pregame and watching the band get involved and generate excitement, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that," she said.

"And once you get involved, you really have that feeling of community."

When school starts Aug. 22, the band will rehearse daily during the school day.

Additional halftime shows will feature the music of the Eagles, Queen and Toto. The Senior Night and homecoming shows are created with the help of the students, Reynolds said.

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