Comet marching band ushers in the day

By Kate Hayden,

Grab a cup of coffee, head out to the deck and spend your morning overlooking the Cedar River — and the Charles City High School marching band, playing their show especially for you.

The group holds the “Wake Up With the Band” fundraiser every other year, selling raffle tickets for the chance to have students play for a Charles City resident. This is the band’s fourth event.

“We do it so the people of Charles City can experience the band,” drum major Hana Koenigsfeld said.

This year, the band treated the Nettleton family and friends to a backyard showing of “Heroes and Villians,” which includes songs from Pixar’s “Incredibles, “The Dark Knight” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The backyard overlooked the Cedar River and the walking path, and a small group of early-morning walkers paused to enjoy the scene as the band and color guard played.

“We love it as an event, but we use it as a fundraiser,” director Jake Gassman said. “We do it every other year in the hopes that it would last longer.”

The crowd tends to grow beyond just the winning family, Gassman said.

“The last one we played we did on the street, and we had a lot of people come out,” he said. “It ended up being a mini block concert for the whole thing … Usually we get a bigger audience than we anticipate, so that’s been a positive.”

“I’m just a band nerd,” Koenigsfeld said. “I like that we get to play for people.”

The musicians close their marching band season with Friday night’s football game, after receiving a Division I rating at state contest this year. The concert band season begins on Monday.

“This year’s show has been pretty good compared to other years,” Koenigsfeld said. “We’ve had so many freshmen and they’ve worked so hard to become on the same level as the seniors.”

“We’ve got a young band, and they’re really enthusiastic,” Gassman said. “It’s been a pretty great season for us.”