Band Welcomes New Members With Blockhead Ceremony

By Srilekha Cherukuvada, Heritage Copy Editor, Horizon Weekly Editor

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  • Ava Greene '22, Alice Gaede '22, and Ceilidh Cariaga '22 wait for their names to be called so they can sprint down the tradition path between band students. Once they reach the end, they will receive their Blockheads and officially be members of the band.

  • Spencer Tatum '22 receives several high-fives as he sprints through the band students on his way to receive his Blockhead.

  • Liz Brown '21 slowly makes her way through the path of students, about to officially cross the threshold into the world of band.

  • Blockheads

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One of the most well known band traditions is the annual blockhead ceremony, in which the upperclassmen present blockheads, a wooden figure that looks like a band student in full uniform, to welcome new students to the band program.

This year, the blockhead ceremony took place after band rehearsal on Tuesday, Aug. 21. The upperclassmen formed two rows creating a tunnel for the new students to run through. All the upperclassmen cheered and clapped to welcome the new members as they ran down the tunnel to receive their blockhead.

“I felt extremely happy while receiving my blockhead; it made me feel like I truly fit into this band program,” Linsy Stephen ‘22 said. “To know that people do really care about you is very heartwarming.”

Band siblings are a big part of the blockhead ceremony. Each new student is given a sibling who would present their blockhead during the ceremony as well as present them with a gift. Band siblings are also a way to provide guidance to the new students.

“My band sibling was Sanjana Kumar. I like her a lot and she’s really nice and responsible,” Rachel Chen ‘22 said. “Band brings people together that have similar interests which allows people to bond more.”

The blockheads are made by student volunteers in band who sign up for the crew at the end of the previous school year. Assembly and painting of the blockheads is organized by a band parent, David Moss, and the volunteers met up on three Saturdays to complete the constructing all of the blockheads.

“I chose to volunteer to help make the blockheads because I wanted to make the new band members feel welcome into our program,” Abigail Dewhirst ‘21 said.

At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Brandon Winters and Mr. Mikey Sheeran also received blockheads. Mr. Winters and Mr. Sheeran are the new band directors for the year and were unified with both new and returning students during the ceremony. This memorable moment united the band as they helped welcome the new directors to the organization and ultimately cemented the bond between the band.

“I feel that band helps students bond on a deeper level because you are able to turn to anyone and ask them anything,” Stephen said. “Being a freshman is sometime nerve-wracking, but you can always ak one of the older band members how to get through it because they have already gone through it.”