TR bands take flight with “Our show is For the Birds”
October 17, 2016
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“Drum majors, is your band ready?” The famous six words marching bands hear every time they preform is finally spoken again after a long winter and spring season. The phrase signals a start to a new season for all of the bands. The award winning TRHS marching band is preparing to take flight with their show “For the Birds” after a long hard summer. “The Wildcat band is having one of our best years yet. The band is very strong both visually and musically, and I am very proud of how far we have come this year,” said Bryan VanToll, the Wildcat marching band director. This year’s show takes the crowd on a journey through the eyes of a bird. They start off with the “Journey of Bird.” The bird then learns to spread its wings in “One Day I’ll Fly Away.” Then the bird transitions into its squawky and awkward teenage phase in which the band presents with “Turkey in the Straw” and the timeless “Chicken Dance.” Finally, the bird reaches its mature phase with “Birdland.”
Of course the band isn’t self-guided; they have leaders who guide them called drum majors. This year’s drum majors are senior Matt Randle and junior José Embil. In a show the music has to go with the theme to have what it takes to have a strong show. “I feel our strongest part is the music. It is very strong, and we emote in every single piece. It hits you right in the heart,” said Embil. As the year continues, the band continues to work on getting better for more success in their future.
“For future success I feel that the band will need to realize that we haven’t been given anything. We will need to earn other high scores at competitions by working hard and focusing even more than before. That is an essential part of growing together throughout the season,” said Randle. The show is a real crowd favorite that involves a few surprises as the show progresses. “I love the whole show! The music is so much fun; it just all works,” said Embil.
The band has already competed in their first competition of the season at Otsego where they received first place in class B. “The band did amazing at Otsego! I couldn’t ask for anything more from them. We worked hard all summer, and it paid off big at that first competition,” said Randle. The band doesn’t just show up and perform; they put many hours into their show and continue working to make it better. “The band has put in tons of hours of rehearsal working on this show. At this point in our season, we are easily above 120 hours of rehearsal time. This commitment from the band is a huge part of our success, and it will continue until the very end of the season, which is in November,” said VanToll.
With the new show, comes a lot of new items for all of the groups of the marching band. “First of all, we have our really interesting show concept. We are showing the idea through a variety of ways, including new flags, new guard uniforms, a dozen egg props, and the nest. Secondly, we have lots of new equipment on the field in our percussion section. The “front ensemble,” which is the keyboard and accessories at the front of the field, has been greatly expanded this year with three new keyboards and a whole set of new accessory instruments,” said VanToll. As the year continues, the band will be practicing like crazy all the way until they hear the six word phrase one last time until next year, “Drum majors, is your band ready?”