SPRINGFIELD TWP. Part of being a senior athlete for Springfield soccer player Josh Lininger is marching to the beat.
Specifically, the beat of the songs he’s playing as a member of the school’s marching band. In addition to being a member of the soccer team, Lininger also plays the trumpet and is one of the band’s veteran members.
The band recently had its annual preseason camp, traveling to Camp Muskingum in Carrollton for a week to drill down on preparations for the coming season.
"The seniors got down there Sunday and the percussion, then the rest of the members were there Monday and we stayed through Saturday afternoon," Lininger said. "It starts out why the first day and the leaders getting ready and getting settled on that mindset of how to lead and deal with the other members of the band."
This was Lininger's fifth trip to band camp with the Spartans and he and his bandmates went through a familiar schedule for the week. After the first day with seniors and percussionists on hand, the week ramped up with the arrival of the rest of the group.
Tuesday through Saturday, the group went through a rotation that saw them shift from one area to another, working on different elements of the performances they will do during the football season. One area was all about the fundamentals of marching and mastering their instruments as they march, while others saw them zero in on the music itself, formations and other aspects of the show.
"We also have mentors, people who previously played in the band and who know their instruments really well, and they can help you out," Lininger said.
Playing the trumpet has been a part of Lininger's life since fifth grade, when he took up the instrument he had seen his older brother, Bob, play.
"It was just a few weeks before fifth grade and my older brother had played it, so there was this silver trumpet right there and my mom didn’t have to buy me one," he said. "I loved the loudness and the trumpet has more of the melody to it, I feel."
Soccer and band may seem like completely different activities, but for Lininger, there are connections and a few similarities between he two.
"Sports is more about adrenaline and band is more creativity, but soccer and band have some similarity," Lininger said. "The adrenaline in band is different from the adrenaline in soccer, because you’re creating the music while with sports, you’re using your talent to try to win. In band, most of the time we’re not trying to win, we’re there to support the football team."
The band does go to competitions, but on Friday nights their role is to help provide a soundtrack for the football season. It’s also a chance to show off all the hard work of the preseason for the crowds at games and for Lininger, it’s another link between sports and music.
Taking a week out of summer, especially as the summer winds down quickly, was one of Lininger’s final chances to get away from his normal schedule before school begins. Once the year commences, he’ll have classes to worry about alongside band, soccer and work, so the pace promises to be fast and leave much less free time than he’s had this summer.
He likes having band as part of that mix because he’s learned about studies showing that playing in band can help students do better in classes thanks to the benefits it provides mentally and creatively. Soccer and music are two activities he’s done for most of his life and having them as two big pieces of his senior year is right on key.
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