In The Stands With A-Band


The A-Band plays a familiar song during a break in the action during the girl’s basketball game on Dec. 19 in order to pump up the crowd. “I show up for the connections and moments that we make together,” Izzy Hoffeditz said.

On January 12. 2023 the girl’s basketball team was at halftime during a close game with St. Dominic,  Mr. Nathan Griffin standing in front of the Spartan A-Band. He holds up a number 31 and the students immediately know that they are about to play Journey’s classic song “Don’t Stop Believing.” This process continues through the entire game as Mr. Griffin leads the band through iconic songs that pump up the crowd. 

The idea of a basketball band was sparked in Mr. Griffin’s interview when he was hired. Mr. Griffin has always grown up around basketball and basketball bands, it seemed natural to him for FHC to have a basketball band.

“It was important to me to get something started, and I’m just glad the students latched on,” Griffin said. 

The A-Band started in the winter of 2009 with only 50 members, but it caught on so well that by the next year the group had 100 members and regularly attracts around 100 members every year. The band gets lots of support from the school.     

“Everybody was like, Whoa, what is this? This is awesome. And were offering to get us t-shirts and all kinds of stuff,” Griffin said.

The energy brought by the A-Band can really change the atmosphere of the game. The band doesn’t just play to entertain the crowd but to support the basketball team as well. After the girl’s basketball game on December 19, 2022, Coach Leake thanked Mr. Griffin for the band’s energy helping give the girls a boost that allows them to win.

“It’s helpful, especially when you’re just not having the greatest game, or you’re just not feeling it, maybe a little tired, as a player to have that energy coming out of the crowd does really help,” Mr. Griffin said.

The band plays many hits from over the years. The band will play the “Hey Song,” also known as “Rock and Roll, Part 2” by Gary Glitter, and the cheerleaders and students dance and sing along to the song. But most of the songs are jazz inspired. 

“We do a lot of jazz charts that are in there because they’re great, they’re upbeat, they’re fun. And also the funk and R&B stuff actually fits really well into a basketball band and then even though they’re older songs, a lot of the audience knows them. And so they can latch on right away,” Griffin said.

Senior Izzy Hoffeditz has been in A-Band since her freshman year and has made many connections and friendships through the A-Band.

“A-Band isn’t just about the music and basketball, but it’s the people that make those moments so special and worth joining. I would have never been the person I am today without the people in the band,” Hoffeditz said.

Throughout the game the band works in tandem with the cheerleaders. Mr. Griffin always makes sure that the cheerleaders aren’t about to play before conducting the band. 

Band Director Nathan Griffin cheers on the basketball teams. Mr Griffin sees the A-Band as a great way to support the teams. (Aniya Sparrow)

“They’re very gracious and just let us play. It ends up being us playing a lot with them doing their stunts. But then when they want to cheer we try to allow them to do that and try not to step on their toes,” Mr. Griffin said.

The A-Band has been growing steadily since its inception and shows no signs of slowing down. The future looks bright for the A-Band. 

“I think there’s some cool things that we can do even in the future where we can start to expose a band in some different areas,” Griffin said.