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NPR Arts & Life

A Bandless Football Team And A Teamless Band Team Up

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Glen Lake High School in Northern Michigan had a football game coming up but no band. Forest Area High School had a band but no football team. Saying anything more would be a spoiler. So we're going to bring in Glen Lake football player Ben Kroll. Thanks for being with us.

BEN KROLL: Thank you for having me.

SIMON: And Forest Area drum major Hannah Spencer, welcome to you.

HANNAH SPENCER: Thank you for having me.

SIMON: So a game scheduled last week in Maple City. Hannah Spencer, how far is that from your school in the - in Forest Area?

SPENCER: It's about an hour and a half.

SIMON: And what did your band do that night?

SPENCER: Well, we got ready. And then we played our pep band songs. And then we did our show there.

SIMON: So you became the house band for another high school?

SPENCER: Yeah.

SIMON: Ben Kroll, how did this partnership come about?

KROLL: So our athletic director, Mr. Mattson, told us earlier that day that we had a chance of having a band, which we haven't had in a really long time. So for us, this was huge because, personally, me and the football team have always wanted a band. And we're hoping that this band also inspires our, you know, kids in our school to join and stuff because our band such had limited - had limited members, too. So having them come out was such a huge, huge help. And we appreciate it very much.

SIMON: Oh, my gosh. Mr. Kroll, did you lose a lot of games because you didn't have a band?

KROLL: I don't think that was the case. But...

SIMON: (Laughter).

KROLL: You know, it was just a huge help. It definitely gave our team a boost, definitely morally and energy-wise, too, especially with the crowd.

SIMON: Hannah Spencer, so you had a band but no team to play for.

SPENCER: Yeah.

SIMON: So what did you play for? Who did you play for?

SPENCER: Well, we actually just played for the school. And we're just working to make ourselves better for the season.

SIMON: Did you think it was a good idea when they said, you're going to play for Glen Lake High School?

SPENCER: Oh, definitely. It was good practice for Cadillac and Thorough B (ph).

SIMON: You mean, these band competitions that you go to?

SPENCER: Yeah.

SIMON: Yeah. Did you march?

SPENCER: Yeah. I marched, and I conducted.

SIMON: Wow. So can I ask about the game, Mr. Kroll?

KROLL: Yes, you can.

SIMON: Who won?

KROLL: We did - 31-7 against Gladstone, a team from the UP.

SIMON: Upper Peninsula in Michigan. Thirty-one to seven, do you - how many points do you figure the band was worth?

KROLL: Probably all 31.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Hannah Spencer, you'll take credit for that?

SPENCER: Well, not just me but the whole band and our band director, Mr. Dikey (ph).

SIMON: What's your best number, do you think?

SPENCER: Oh, probably, either "Star Wars" or the "Mario Galaxy."

SIMON: I'm not sure I know that one. Could you hum it?

(SOUNDBITE OF MOHITO YOKOTA'S "SUPER MARIO GALAXY THEME")

SPENCER: Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da.

SIMON: Wow. You know sound sounds almost like our theme music, which is composed by BJ Leiderman. I don't suppose you can hum that, too, can you?

SPENCER: No.

SIMON: (Laughter) Ooh, ouch. So is this partnership going to continue?

KROLL: The football team is hoping it is. You know, there was such great feedback from the football team and the crowd and stuff. I mean, there was at one point during the game where I heard the crowd chanting we love band, we love band. So that was pretty cool.

SIMON: That's for you and your buds, Hannah Spencer.

SPENCER: It was really awesome. We've never had that much enthusiasm, especially at a football game before. It was amazing.

SIMON: Well, I'm happy for you both and everybody. Ben Kroll of the Glen Lake High School football team, Hannah Spencer of the Forest Area High School band, thank you so much. Have a good season.

KROLL: Thank you.

SPENCER: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF GLEN LAKE HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND PERFORMANCE OF MOHITO YOKOTA'S "SUPER MARIO GALAXY THEME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.