High school bands remain prevalent and relevant


Photo courtesy of Jack Cain

The Appleton North band Specific Ocean playing an outdoor gig at The Chubby Seagull restaurant last August.

Maddy Schilling, Culture Editor

School is a place often regarded by entertainment outlets as a place for kids and teens to explore their passions, to reach out to the new community around them and attempt to find happiness through a series of extracurriculars, whether those include physical activity, knowledge-based discussion or performance.

One of the most consistent extracurricular themes seen in youth-centered movies and television, however, is that of the student-led band.
Young rockers were depicted in classic nineties television series like Daria, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Saved by the Bell, and these shows influenced a generation of high school bands.

Today, the high school band has maintained, and even blossomed in, its popularity, with several groups passing through the halls of North High over the past few years, from Eminence, to Strawberry Jam Band and to Indecision.

Jando Valdez, a sophomore who plays bass in the student-led rock band Specific Ocean stated, “It’s a very different experience, where you get to be very close with three or four people.”

Much like being involved in an athletic activity, being part of a band requires mutual collaboration, to which Valdez can attest. “Being in a band is a lot of collab and a ton of teamwork, and when we don’t get along it’s very hard to make new things together…but I also think being in a band really helps to get over that. We learn to make compromises, making sure we can all express ourselves.”

Altogether, rock-bands are a classic part of the high school experience, and young musicians help to bring an added layer of culture to the school community while tapping into a greater feeling of connectedness and creativity with their fellow bandmates.