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Bearden's band marches in new direction

Updated: August 29, 2011, 07:49


Friday, August 26, 2011 By Rachel Riley

The band rehearses during "Band Camp Revisited" on Saturday. Bearden is switching out its traditional jazz-style halftime performance for a more rock-oriented theme this year. - Rachel Riley

During the last week of July, Bearden’s marching band flooded the CTE parking lot in preparation for the upcoming year. The heat was on high, as was the volume, and marchers worked tirelessly as usual, but this summer, the BHS Marching Band rehearsed a new kind of performance.

Much like it always has, this year’s band camp provided a foundation for all that the marching band will work on this year, which differs significantly from their traditional repertoire.

“Traditionally, we’ve always done a show relating to the jazz genre,” band director Mrs. Megan Christian said. “This year, it’s got a little bit more of a rock feel.”

This year’s show, called “Clockworks,” is a more modern approach and includes songs by the titles of “Atomic Clock” and “Water Clock.” A synthesizer keyboard was also added to the front ensemble this year, contributing to the band’s new sound.

“This is a definite shift or change in the way that Bearden High School Band has usually done things,” senior marcher Martin Lu said. “It’s a lot like what professional marching bands do.”
 
On Saturday, band students were reminded of the six twelve-hour days they spent practicing at the end of the summer with “Band Camp Revisited,” an extra day given after their first appearance on Friday night at the Hardin Valley game to perfect their routines.

Much like regular band camp, students practiced from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. with breaks for both lunch and dinner. The morning was spent mostly working on marching, while the afternoon was spent in the band room focusing on music with sectionals; the evening gave the band a chance to combine them and improve the overall show.

“We did lots of fundamental block work, which is basically learning how to march from the very beginning; and then we would take the music, strengthen the most fundamental part of it, and develop it into what you all are going to hear on Friday night,” Mrs. Christian said.

Marchers at band camp worked particularly hard this year, despite the summer heat. While bands of prior years have typically learned only learn 40-45 charts, this year’s learned a total of 50.

“Band camp was kind of hard, but it was fun,” freshman Anita Voorhees said.

While this was the first year of band camp for Voorhees, it was the last for many seniors. Although they have sacrificed many lazy summer days over the past four years, most are satisfied with their work.

“By the end of the season when it’s over and done, I look back and I had fun,” Lu said. “This is 150 people working together doing something they like—music—and we work together to make a final product that’s fun to watch."

This final product will not only be showcased at football games on Friday night, but also in the competitions Bearden’s marching band plans to participate in, one of which is out-of-state. They also plan to perform at the Knox County Band Exhibition in October.

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