The ‘Loaners’ are Not Alone

The high school band has a growing fan base.

Original photo: Haruna


It has been a semester since the High School Band, “The Loaners” first debuted. Many students, including myself, and even teachers flooded the Madeleine Sophie Room on that hectic Wednesday lunchtime schedule. As the band members started each song, ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Ahhhs’ and ‘She’s so good!’ echoed throughout Madeleine Sophie Room.

 On the band performance, Haruna (11) said, “the combination of song choices was just really, really, really good.” Similarly, on behalf of the freshmen, Hana (9) has said that it was difficult to compare the middle school and high school bands, but, she felt a certain sense of unity with “the piano, the guitar riffs, and voices all co-mingling to form one cohesive, breath-taking performance.” As this was her first high-school-band-performance, she vividly recollects feeling dizzy as if “waking up from a dream.” When she was asked if she would watch them again, she said, “Yes. Definitely. And when I say that, I speak for us all [Freshmen]”. It was conclusive that this year’s band had established a strong foundation of fans.

 Invigorated by the positive reactions and curious about the sound and structure of “The Loaners”, I decided to do some digging. My first victim was Haruka (11)―currently the co-leader and drummer. The drummer is crucial because they set the tempo and rhythm of each song. Haruka has cited that her inspiration (for playing drums) was watching Mickey Mouse play the drums and dance to the beat. Since fourth grade, she has taken lessons, and was in the Middle School and High School bands for over six years.Throughout her years of experience, she has stated that the the sound and style of the band have evolved. “As you grow older your range of music broadens―whereas, when you’re younger you are strongly influenced by your environment. At that time, we were playing more Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber songs.” Haruka then moved on to emphasize, “Now, that we’re in high school I feel that the band has become more mature. We now play songs of different genre and different styles, so the sound of the band begins to vary.” She recognizes this an advantage, “…Because not only do students watch the performance, the teachers do as well. The vast range of song choices allow us to target all audiences and allow them to be more engaged―and this can be beneficial at times.”

Coming from a different background was my next target, Sooa (9), who is the latest addition of the three vocalists of the high school band. Sooa, (who has has been in both choir and band), has classified choir and band as polar opposites of each other. She distinguished that while choir seeks to synchronize harmony with different-pitched voices, band aims to promote individuality through the talents of each members, combined with their instruments. In band, she expresses her enthusiasm collaborating with the upperclassmen,“Everyone is bursting with talent, and this makes band all the more fun. We always have the chance to blend and remix our songs, contributing to a new, unique vibe and tone―taking on an interesting but unified approach.”

Speaking of the whole band―the name―is a significant attribute in defining the band. Previous years’ high school band names have included, ‘Hand me the Spoon’ and ‘KOD’. Scribbled across this year’s band posters are ‘The Loaners’. I was able to accost McHayla (11), another lead vocalist, on the origin of the name. She laughs and reflects on the memory, “…Well, Moeka and me managed to come up with this name. We thought that this name described the one common element that we all shared. It all started on a Starbucks morning, where we deliberated for hours on something suitable. And then suddenly as we gave up, one of us said, ‘Well, wouldn’t it be funny if we had this name!’ We bursted out laughing, but in the end, we chose that name.” As McHayla suggests, this band name exhibits promise and potential.


Vocalist and Guitarist Moeka (11), leader of band, strikes the chords of the guitar in tune to 'Arabella', by rock band Nirvana.
Vocalist and Guitarist Moeka (11), leader of band, strikes the chords of the guitar in tune to ‘Arabella’, by rock band Nirvana. Original photo: Haruna

The band members, vocalists, Moeka (11), Mchayla (11), and Sooa (9), drummer Haruka (11), base guitarist Yasmim (12), pianist/ guitarist Laura (12), electric guitarist Katie (10), and sound technicians Miyu (12) and Yuri (11) have come a long way so far, growing with new members and building on their band’s old members. With their first performance a success, it seems that that they had turned the final page of the this semester quite well. As winter starts to disappear, we will have to wait and see how they spring.