Mariah LaPorte pursues her musical journey


Leah Nixon

Mariah LaPorte, junior

Charlize Santos, Reporter

Mariah LaPorte is a 16-year-old junior in the Silverado High School marching band who, in her free time, enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, and hand-crafting jewelry. She also enjoys listening to, as well as playing, music. 

LaPorte’s musical journey began in middle school when she joined band in sixth grade, initially playing the French horn. She currently plays the mellophone, a three-valved brass instrument which is used primarily in marching band.

LaPorte credits her older brother for inspiring her to become a musician. 

“I remember my older brother was once in band,” she said. “I used to watch him practice his music when he took his instrument home and thought it was fascinating. I decided to follow his footsteps.”

The Silverado marching band is a supportive and talented community that contributes to her optimistic character. 

“The students do extremely well at cheering other students on or helping them become better at something they might struggle with,” she said. “The staff also pushes us to achieve new goals and drives us to the best we can be.”

With the support of her friends in the marching band, she keeps up a positive attitude while juggling three-hour long after-school practices, half-time performances and school work. 

“I’ve learned so much about building relationships with the other students to make our band stronger,” LaPorte said. “We all struggle together and we all succeed together.” 

“There are many unspoken hardships that come along with being in band, but we’ve all learned we need to grow past it and continue to put effort for each other. Without that, our band would never reach its best,” she said. 

This year’s halftime show theme is, “The Rose That Grew From Concrete.” The marching band’s goal is to portray the challenges they had to overcome after practicing through a screen, due to the pandemic, for two years.

In preparation for performances, the marching band rehearses every Monday and Friday after school from 5-8 p.m.

“[Before performances] the focus levels of the students are tense as we try our hardest to look and sound good,” LaPorte said. 

Band camp, which began two weeks before the school year started, is no less demanding. Band students spend hours in the brutal heat practicing for the upcoming school year. 

Despite the hard work and summer heat, LaPorte says she prefers marching band over concert band.

“I think it’s more exciting and motivates me a lot more,” she said. “It keeps me active rather than sitting down, and just playing a piece of music in concert band.”

She enjoys the awarding competitiveness of the marching band, as well. 

“I love to strive to the top and the feeling of hearing our score and where we placed,” she said.

LaPorte’s musical journey doesn’t end here. She has plans to continue participating in the band in her senior year and throughout college.