High School - The Zone

Brownsburg’s band brings the beat for high school football season

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — High school football returns this Friday, and a Friday night under the lights wouldn’t be complete without the sound of drums and brass.

Brownsburg has one of the best bands in the state, and the members are getting ready for their Friday Night Football debut.

“I think (Friday nights) would be significantly more boring” without the band, said Ruby Paterson, senior drum major logistics assistant for Brownsburg High School.

At Brownsburg, no one’s getting up to get snacks during halftime. The Bulldogs band is just as much of a show under the Friday night lights as the football team. Paterson said, “I think people are coming just as much to see us as they are to see the football players perform.”

Band director Chris Paulson said, “We’re bringing parents and families to the football games, right? So we’ve got 200 kids in the band. Multiply that by all their parents, all their families, all their friends that are coming, and they’re cheering for the football team just as much as everybody else because it’s a community event. It’s really excellent that we have that support, that our community understands the excellence that our program brings.”

The Sound of Brownsburg made a lot of noise in 2021. Not only did the Bulldogs march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but they won the prestigious Sudler Shield, the award given to the best marching bands in the world.

But on Friday nights, they’re just here to bring the energy.

“If the crowd gets a little bit quiet, darn it, it’s our job to fire them up,” Paulson said. “We have a role in that, in creating that atmosphere on a Friday night, and we’ll take that role seriously. We’ll play a lot of tunes. We’ll play a lot, we’ll play loud.”

Paterson said, “I think we bring a lot of energy and fun and just an extra layer of just really fun atmosphere.”

Matthew Gatton, a junior who is a section leader, said, “We get some high adrenaline because we know for a football game we can go practice our show so we can see how good we will be for upcoming competitions.”

In 2021, the Sound of Brownsburg tied for its best finish with fifth at the Indiana State School Music Association Open Class A State Finals. Now, the sights are set for a podium.

“Exciting things are happening at Brownsburg band,” said Colin Mendenhall, a junior drum major. “We’ve got a new director. Our color guard is doing incredible things all the time. I’m just really excited for what Brownsburg band is going to be and is right now.”

Nine-hour practice days during the summer are certainly paying off.

High school football season in Indiana begins Friday. Catch all the action on The Zone 8 at 11:08 p.m. Fridays during the football season through playoffs on News 8.