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AHS students help DHS start pep band


October 25, 2017 | View PDF

Arlington High School band members like Kaitlyn Bevens, left, play alongside Darrington High School band members like Jesse Paull, right, at an Arlington High School football game on Oct. 20.

Darrington High School's band played at their first homecoming game thanks to student-driven support from Arlington High School's band program.

On Oct. 13 around 50 students from the Arlington High School's band helped show Darrington High School's band students how to support their football team during their game.

"The last time Darrington had a band was a very small group of students in the 2007-08 year," said Laura Goheen, a Darrington High School teacher and current band program leader at the school.

Goheen said that program was cut because of budget problems.

After the Oso landslide the school received some grants that helped bring more arts and cultural classes to the school, including a music program which has existed for about three years now.

There are currently around 35 students from 7th grade to 12th grade at the school.

This year, Darrington's band began exploring the possibility of creating a pep band program.

"We wanted to have a pep band but that was something the students had never experienced and didn't know what to expect," said Goheen.

Arlington High School junior Cami Hanna started helping one of the Darrington students last year.

"When I first started I was tutoring a drummer up in Darrington," said Hanna. That Darrington student brought Hanna up to help more of the students there as well.

"We ended up tapping into her talents and inviting her up," said Goheen.

"And Goheen was like 'yes please, we could definitely use more help,'" said Hanna.

Over the last few months Hanna has traveled up to Darrington many times to tutor several of the students on her own time, helping them form a drum line and learning the basics of a pep band.

"I just like the enthusiasm that the kids have and how much they have learned," she said.

Many of the Darrington band's practices have been recorded and Hanna said that looking at them and "seeing how much they've improved is crazy."

Hanna has spent around 60 hours working with the Darrington students so far this year.

"Hanna eventually suggested that we should play for the Homecoming game," said Goheen. It would be the first time the Darrington band would play at a big game and would be a big step for them.

"I think the band teacher was nervous and the coach was skeptical," said Hanna.

Hanna came with a lot of support to help the Darrington band though.

"Before the game she came by and said 'I'm brining some friends for tonight' and we didn't really know how many people she would bring," said Goheen.

Several Arlington High School band members came by to support and demonstrate to the Darrington band how to perform on the field, many of whom came with their faces painted in Darrington High School's "logger green."

"They brought a lot of enthusiasm for our games, the kind we haven't had since 2007," said Goheen.

Hanna's mother, Teresa Hanna, said that it went great. "I was a little nervous of how the coach would take it because they are used to playing in silence, but it went really well," she said.

Goheen said that many people enjoyed the band being there.

"The response of the community has been great," she said. "One student, who is a basketball player, asked me if we will play for the basketball season." Goheen said they aren't making any commitment yet, but are going to try to play for basketball as well.

Hanna said she enjoyed how well the two bands worked together.

"I'm proud of all the students in Arlington and Darrington because of how well they coordinated, even though they're not from the same area," she said.

Darrington's band was also invited to play with the Arlington High School band the following week during an Arlington home football game on Oct. 20 for their second big game.

Hanna said she wants to continue working with the students at Darrington to help their pep band grow.

Goheen wanted to thank all the students who helped Darrington's new band.

"It was totally student driven. It wouldn't have happened had it not been for Cami," she said.

"Thank you to the students of Arlington for seeing beyond your own community and helping here," she said.

Arlington High School band members and their booster club are also working to raise more than $100,000 to fund new uniforms for the marching band.

Current uniforms were last replaced in 1991. For more information visit the booster Facebook page at


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