Three siblings are taking the Cougar Marching Band by storm this semester, spending one unique football season on the field doing what they love together.
Emily, Sarah and Megan Rogers grew up cheering at BYU games and marching in the nationally ranked American Fork High School Band. Their love for music and the Cougars brought them to the “Power of the Wasatch,” where all three are marching together for the first time in their lives.
Emily and Sarah were in band together in high school, and then Sarah and Megan, but this is the first time all three have been able to march with each other. The promise of being on the field with their sisters was a major factor in Sarah and Megan’s decisions to join band this year.
When Megan decided to delay serving a mission by a semester to be in band with her older sisters, Sarah said she knew it would be a special experience and decided to stick with it another year.
“That was a huge factor —knowing that Megan was deciding to wait to go on a mission so that the three of us could be in band together,” Sarah said of her decision to stay.
Megan said deciding to delay her mission was difficult, but with so many unknowns in the future it felt like the best choice.
“This was the one thing we did know — that we could all do it at the same time,” she said. “It just felt right to push the mission back to be able to do a semester of band with my sisters.”
According to the siblings, none of them regret it. For Emily, one of the drum majors, seeing familiar faces at band practice is a highlight.
“Rehearsals are fun,” she said. “Sometimes we’re just warming up or whatever, I’ll just go, like run over and just like, kick one of them.”
In fact, all of the Rogers sisters’ shins are in danger at band practice — but that must be one of the perks of marching with siblings.
“It’s fun to kind of mess around with each other, you know, kick her in the shins sometimes,” Sarah said.
Fun and games aside, each said the journey to the field together has been nothing short of miraculous.
“This is kind of our only time to do it and luckily things fell into place,” Emily said. “There were a lot of miracles that we saw to kind of help get us to this point, so now we’re just trying to enjoy every second.”
Megan said sharing her marching band experience with her sisters has made it especially meaningful.
“We’ve always been super close and so doing this thing that we love together as sisters is the most incredible thing ever,” Megan said. “It’s just fun to be sisters in a setting that we all love so much.”
A passion for marching band — and BYU — runs in the sisters’ veins: their parents were both in the BYU marching band and took their kids to BYU games almost religiously. At one game in which the Cougars were dominating, Sherri Rogers, the sisters’ mother, remembers realizing three-year-old Emily had learned the Cougar Fight Song over the course of the game.
“It has always been a part of our family growing up,” Sherri said, adding that she and her husband Tracy “both brought this love of BYU into our marriage.”
Having family by her side in the band, as well as cheering from the stands has been a special experience, Sarah said.
“I feel a lot of support — from my sisters, from my family — and it’s fun to have something that we all enjoy,” she said.
In the Rogers home, music is an integral part of life. Emily said for her, music is on par with the other core parts of herself, like her faith and family.
“Music is as big of a part of my life as it is, like, literally anything else,” she said. “The Church, my family, music — it’s all the same.”
Tracy Rogers said watching his daughters develop a love for music has been inspirational.
“They have far exceeded my expectations for music,” he said. “They’re so much better in every way than I ever was.”
Tracy recounted how marching band helped him find confidence, belonging and purpose in school. As he has watched his daughters grow as musicians, he said he has seen similar personal growth in each of them.
“I think it’s something that’s done the same thing for them,” he said. He said he thinks it’s helped them develop “self-confidence” and “a talent in something they love and something we share as a family.”
In a marching band, individuals are put with people they did not necessarily choose and have to come together to make something spectacular. Tracy said band is not so different from family.
“You’re in it together for a common purpose and you find a way,” he said. “By working hard together for a common goal, a common purpose, it brings unity.”