Saturday, July 31, 2010

One for the thumb and beyond

It's kind of like the blue-white game at the start of a UK basketball season.

The 2010 Madisonville-North Hopkins High School Marching Maroons debuted last night, with its annual "Preview" performance on the school's back parking lot last night. To cap two weeks of two-a-days band camp, the Marching Maroons worked through parts of their new three-piece show, "Connect Us," for parents, schoolmates and other well-wishers.

It was a loose affair. The musicians donned matching T-shirts and shorts instead of their formal maroon, black and white uniforms; director Rob Bryant frequently stopped the performance to correct a misstep he detected from a tower overhead, and another staffer moved through the kids rapping a mallet against a wood block for the benefit of inexperienced marchers who are still struggling to keep time.

Regardless, there was no sense of disappointment or worry emanating among the 300-or-so onlookers who had gathered at dusk. Some sat in folding chairs on pickup beds; others stood on the still-radiating blacktop. All seemed pleased with the first public performance by the 101-member unit who begins pursuit of the school's sixth-straight state championship with its first Kentucky Music Educators Association competition on Sept. 11--on its home field for the Maroon Classic.

It's an unusually young edition of Marching Maroons, even fielding eighth-graders in some sections. At last night's show, Director Bryant noted that the most-experienced among about a half-dozen mellophonists are sophomores. None of this, of course, tempers manic expectations in a town where halftime is the brightest of Friday night's lights. Fair or not, no less than a sixth Class 4A Governor's Cup is the goal--and already identified as much in a front-page article on Friday's local Messenger newspaper.

The "Connect Us" show consists of Samuel Hazo's "Bridges" and Richard Saucedo's "Windsprints" and "Walking Into History (The Clinton 12)." The 4A state championship will be contested Oct. 30 at South Oldham High School in Crestwood.

1 comment:

  1. I'd just like to add that the song "Bridges" was written to commemorate the tragedy at Virginia Tech and "Walking Into History" honors the 12 students who integrated the high school in Clinton, Tn. And one correction: They don't actually compete at the Maroon Classic; they'll serve as "hosts." Their first competition will probably be the following week. Hopefully they will update soon so we can all be in the know about their schedule. --Rachel (former flute section leader, former jazz band keyboard player, Best Marcher 92 and 93, and former band secretary)