Sunday, September 19, 2010

High School Bands

The Musician took part in an event called Band-O-Rama last night. Six Ohio high school bands, including hers, performed at our high school. Let me get the awful part out of the way, which is that there was a freak accident last night and a young man was taken away in an ambulance. I'm going to try to find out how things went this week; I really hope he's okay. Don't want to post too many details online.

So, on to the fun part. It was interesting seeing all the different approaches the bands took. Team F danced into the stadium, with their band director dancing beside them. They also had a colored red light in their sousaphones, red being one of their school colors. Sousaphones, let it be known, are the slightly smaller version of a tuba, and are usually used in marching bands. Tubas wrap around the waist and not the shoulder and are generally used whilst sitting down.

Team S had 287 band members!!! That's almost 3/4 of the entire population of my high school alma mater when I graduated. It took 12 buses to haul them and their instruments into town. Their trombone section did a "suicide line" at the beginning of their program. A suicide line is when a player alternately bends forward, and swings his instrument over his neighbor who is bending forward. Someone in the stands behind us kept commenting how their band must have so much more money, since there are so many more band boosters, etc. Yeah, and they also have more members to fund, costume and transport.

Team A had an electric guitarist as part of their band. They also did a four-season musical theme, with their color guard using a seasonal flag for each song. Alas, the only two songs I can remember are "Summertime" and "Hazy Shade of Winter."

Team E was absolutely the most fun. They also did a catchy dance routine coming into the stadium, and they did a fun little moment in the middle of one of their songs, where they put down their instruments and played leapfrog, pantomimed cat fights and fist fights, and some of the drum guys in the back even threw around a football. They also did a little act at the beginning of one of their songs where some of the band members were pushing and shuffling around like they didn't know where to stand. Their last song even ended with a field full of smoke, from what looked like fire extinguishers but I can only assume were some kind of safer smoke propellant. However, the Musician did think that their performance of Seven Nation Army was not as good as her band does. This is a whole other band in the video, although coincidentally also a local one.

So speaking of the Musician's band, they performed last, as the home band. Their band director is very stiff and formal. No dancing, no smoke, no goofy routines. They were also the only ones that performed several pieces outside of the general pop and rock genre. Their theme this year is "La Nouba," featuring songs from Cirque du Soleil. They played three songs from "La Nouba," and also Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." They had, I believe, the largest color guard, and their baton twirlers had the fanciest costumes. The baton twirlers' costumes were a step up from their normal ones, however, and seem to be only for competition type events. The color guard and baton team also did a nifty number where large balls made out of six hoops were brought out onto the field. These balls were pulled apart to form hula hoops, which the dancers than tossed around the field. They were very good musically, and the dancers fun to watch.


Scottius Maximus said...


So who "won"?

Barb the Evil Genius said...

That's a tough one, as I don't know enough about music quality to judge! I'd say Team A, Team S, or our team.