Friends and bandmates Jillian Martin and Marina Nishimura were the winners of the first Gainesville High School Band T-shirt competition held this year by Band Director Bryan Ferrell.

When sophomore Marina Nishimura and junior Jillian Martin first started creating the new design for the Gainesville High School Band’s T-shirt, they were not even a part of the band.

For the first time, since his seven years as the GHS Band Director, Bryan Ferrell decided to hold a competition for the best T-shirt design.

Although the shirt is not considered apart of the official band uniform, said Ferrell, the members do wear it underneath their jacket. The shirt was also worn during warmer weather, added Ferrell, and thus “was the uniform while it was hot.”

The official band uniform consists of a red jacket, black pants and hat and white plumes. Nishimura and Martin’s shirt, however, features a big moon with a mountain and clouds in the background.

All design contestants were allowed to create a concept of their choice, said Martin. Then the band members voted on their favorite shirt to be worn during the school year.

The design was originally Martin’s idea, but Nishimura said she decided to get involved in the creation when she was bored on day in World Geography.

“It’s funny because neither of us were even in band when we did this,” said Nishimura. “I wasn’t even sure what it was for at first, but I was just bored and thought I would help. ”

Martin added that while she was not in band at the time, her brother and a lot of her friends were.

“I wanted to help the band out and make sure they had something cool to wear while they played,” said Martin. “It’s not like any of the other shirts before that just said the basic songs the band was going to play. This shirt is totally different because it’s totally unique and it’s something new.”

Both girls have joined the band this year with Nishimura playing the French horn and Martin playing the bass drum.

Once again, Martin came to the rescue when Ferrell asked for help from GHS students.

“Mr. Ferrell asked if anyone could play the bass drum,” said Martin. “I didn’t have any experience but I was in choir so I could read music already and thought I would give it a chance.”

Nishimura, however, did have experience. In the sixth grade she played in the junior high band but had no way to get to the performances, she said, so she had to give it up.

Luckily, now Nishimura has several friends in band who can drive her to the performances so she can play once again.

Both girls shared their enthusiasm to be apart of the band for both the musical aspect of it and the friendships they have made.

“All of the people in band are really likable and I love hanging out with them,” said Martin. “Plus the music is really cool.”

While Nishimura admits she never had much school spirit before, being a band member has given her a new appreciation for school sports.

“I never really went to football games before I was in the band,” said Nishimura. “But now that I have played at them, I’ve learned that football games are pretty fun. I had absolutely no school spirit before and going to football games just wasn’t on my itinerary. Now, though, I kinda like going to them.”

To see the new GHS band shirt designed by Nishimura and Martin, be sure to come out and support the GHS band and varsity football team at the next game against Sanger on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Leeper Field.

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