You’ll hear a little Paul Simon, contemporary concert music, heartbeats and Latin jazz when high school marching bands take the field this fall.
The themes and music were selected by most band directors and assistants in the spring, and students have been working on mastering the music and the steps this summer.
Over the course of several weekends in October and November, the bands will perform and be graded on such factors as musicality, dramatic performance and visual effects. The culmination for some bands will be marching at the Indiana State School Music Association finals in November.
Here’s a look at what local high school marching bands are working toward this season:
College music professors and concert music lovers will have something to hear at Center Grove High School this fall.
The Marching Trojans of Center Grove High School will perform concert band literature as part of their arc-themed show.
An average audience member might not recognize the music, but someone with a seasoned ear will be able to pick up the nuances of their show, band director Kevin Schuessler said.
That’s the point, he said.
“It’s our job to make (the music) accessible to people,” Schuessler said.
Plus, audience members responded to music from last year’s show that featured tunes from Johann Sebastian Bach.
Each year, the music genre the show is built around changes, Schuessler said.
“(The music) is very good quality literature,” he said.
Students will learn marching formations that will feature arcs and manipulating space, Schuessler said.
“It’s the element of making (music and marching) into a combined package.”
Fans of rocking ’80s music and other classics will be able to get their fill at an Edinburgh Community High School football game.
The Marching Lancers of Edinburgh are moving away from working on one show throughout the year and will give football fans something new every game, band director Dan Herrick said.
Herrick is starting his first year at the helm of the band and is moving the 24-student group to shorter shows with less-complicated movement. Each show will be different and will feature popular music and have themes, such as an ’80s night.
Edinburgh has competed at Indiana State School Music Association festivals in the past but likely won’t this year.
Herrick said he wants the kids to learn and enjoy the music they will be playing.
“My entire goal as a teacher is to have them enjoy music with me,” he said.
Members of the Blue Regiment at Franklin Community High School will march because they want to be there, not to earn a grade.
For the first time in years, the band is strictly extracurricular. Students won’t have a class where they can work on band music; all of their work will be after school, band director Tim Kosch said.
But he emphasized that less rehearsal time won’t mean lower quality.
“It’s a little more of a commitment, so the quality will be better,” Kosch said.
For the first time in at least seven years, band members will perform their “Heartbeat”-themed show in Indiana State School Music Association competition. The association has split up competing groups into two classes, which will make competing easier for some schools, he said.
Greenwood Community High School’s Marching Woodmen and Irish Guard will get emotional this season.
The theme, After the Fall, will depict in music and movement how mankind bands together and helps each other after a tragedy.
“Audience members may not understand the intent of every aspect, but we want them to get the feeling of hope and moving forward,” band director John Morse said. “When bad things happen, mankind pulls together to get through it.”
Last year, the Marching Woodmen and Irish Guard placed third in their class at the Indiana State School Music Association state finals. They earlier won their class or finished second multiple years in a row.
Their focus for the season is about performance, Morse said.
“The goal is for us to perform as well as we can.”
Saxophones, trumpets and drums will be the centerpiece of Indian Creek High School’s marching band show.
The Marching Braves will perform a Latin jazz show to play up the strengths of the young band, band director Amy Heavilin said.
“We always try to pick a show based on strengths that we have,” she said. “The show really showcases our musical talent.”
But the talent is young. The middle school and high school for years have combined to make one marching band.
This year’s band will be made up mostly of eighth-graders, freshmen and sophomores, Heavilin said.
Finding a show to play to their strengths was easy. Plus, jazz hasn’t been a component in an Indian Creek show in at least eight years, she said.
Salsa dancing and rock ’n’ roll will be at Roncalli High School Marching band shows this season.
The Marching Rebels will perform the music of Paul Simon at their shows this year.
One of the band’s goals is to entertain the crowds at football games, band director Kathy Peach said. Playing Paul Simon is a way to do that, she said.
“We always like to pick the music that will entertain the football crowd,” she said.
The Marching Rebels typically
don’t compete, Peach said. This year, they will play at football games, march in a parade on the southside and do two festival shows for the Indiana State School Music Association.
Their shows are about entertaining crowds and teaching life lessons through marching band, she said.
“I want them to have a great experience learning wonderful music,” Peach said.
Color and shapes will be the focus of the Marching Warriors of Whiteland Community High School as they continue to grow. The 125-student band will base its show on primary colors.
The band students help choose the shows, band director Peter Sampson said. Band membership is up by about a dozen this year.
Band directors looked at the strengths and weaknesses of the band and built a show around the band’s strengths, he said.
“Primarily” will have high-
energy parts in music. Formations are still being drafted, Sampson said.
The school district continues to look at how the band will grow and has added an intermediate school band instructor, he said.