Stiles doubles the rhythm on game days

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Freshman Gabby Stiles walks on the football field with the Red Rhythm Dance Team at halftime of Redhawk football games for their weekly performance, but once that is over her job is not done. She walks back and picks up her trumpet and then joins the band for their halftime show as Stiles is not only in one, but in both extracurricular groups.

Both take charge of my life and inspire what I do and who I am as a person,”

— freshman Gabby Stiles

“It’s pretty fun to perform for both groups,” she said. “As well as getting to do both of the things I really love with the people I love.”

Juggling both band and Red Rhythm requires calendar coordination for the 9th grader. 

“It’s a lot of talking to my teachers and combining all my schedules to figure out what takes priority in the moment over the other,” Stiles said. “Also It’s a lot of putting in extra effort and coming back and asking for extra help. I spend about 14-15 hours of my day at school which means a lot of late nights and emails/convos with the directors working out schedules.”

Stiles started playing the piano six years ago, began dance five years ago, and trumpet three years ago. Wanting to be involved in both, Stiles came into high school determined to be on the Red Rhythm team and marching band. 

“I’ve always danced since I was little so it’s been a big part of my life,” she said. “I have always been really into music because I used to play the piano before I played the trumpet and both take charge of my life and inspire what I do and who I am as a person.”

Associate Director of Bands Zack Anderson knew that Stiles would not have any problems balancing band, dance, and school because of the mature qualities she showed early on in the year.

“I was not worried that Gabby would not be able to handle both groups because ever since I met her she has been incredibly proactive and is very mature for being a freshman,” Anderson said. “She has also been able to organize band and her other activities very maturely.” 

Trumpet section leader Chris Xiao wasn’t sure at first if Stiles would be able to balance school, personal, and school activities and do well, but she quickly showed him that she was going to work hard and give her best at everything.

Seeing how much dedication she had for both groups and how well she was picking up on the marching showed she is willing to focus and be a part of the show and be better.”

— trumpet section leader Chris Xiao

“At first when I heard that she was in band and Red Rhythm I got worried that she would not have enough time to practice,” Xiao said. “But seeing how much dedication she had for both groups and how well she was picking up on the marching showed she is willing to focus and be a part of the show and be better.”

Now two months into the school year, Xiao has new respect for Stiles’ ability to balance multiple extracurricular activities.

“So far Gabby has been the only person in my section to take another highly demanding extracurricular class besides band,” Xiao said. “And band alone is hard to balance but, but she is managing it well and that is something I look up to.”

It’s support like this that’s one of the things that attracted Stiles to Red Rhythm and the marching band.

“My favorite thing about band is everyone is in it together and we are a whole team and not just one person doing the show so if one person messes up it ruins it for everyone, but we all have to put in the time and effort to make it,” Stiles said. “My favorite thing about Red Rhythm is that we are such a sisterhood and I can go to any girl on that team and know that they have my back.”