Education/Arts Rhythm of the fall: area marching bands prepare for 2017 season | CullmanSense

Education/Arts

Rhythm of the fall: area marching bands prepare for 2017 season

The Vinemont Eagle marching band prepares for the 2017 marching season. / Courtesy Skylar King

CULLMAN COUNTY - As the new school year cranks up, many are looking forward to the kick off the 2017 high school football season. Football teams have been busy for weeks, working out and preparing for their first games. But others have been preparing as well: our area high school marching bands, who have been working through the stifling heat of late summer, learning drills, memorizing music and getting pumped for the new season.

The Tribune is spotlighting all our area bands, city and county, and will present two at a time in the coming days, sharing a little sneak peek at what band fans can anticipate this year.

In this first installment, we hear from Skylar King and Steven Porter, band directors at Vinemont and Hanceville, respectively.

Vinemont High School Marching Band, led by director Skylar King

Members:

38 members from grades 9-12; five 8th graders by audition

Drum Major:

Skye Graham, senior alto saxophone player and second-year drum major

Musical theme:

"Fright Night" - “Phantom of the Opera,” “Thriller” and “Hall of the Mountain King”

What was the big challenge of band camp?

“Weather. (It was) very humid and rained out our end-of-camp performance.”

What’s the wow factor this year?

“The show design. (It’s) very entertaining and contains some very thrilling moments.”

What do people need to know about your band that no one may have asked yet?

“These are the most disciplined, hardworking kids we've had yet. They come ready to learn and eager to improve each day, giving 110 percent.”

Hanceville High School Marching Band, led by director Steven Porter

Members:

“We have 41 members. Numbers are down a bit, but with 41 people giving 100 percent, it makes a difference.”

Drum Major:

Senior Jasmine Quick

Musical theme:

“Our theme is ‘Latin Up!  with a Twist of Life!’  Latin music has always been a source of mood-changing, fiesta-time music.  And with our line-up, it is no different.

“Con Slancio’ by Earl J. Fox, Jr., lives up to its meaning: with momentum (or enthusiasm). Trumpet soloist, Ethan Ayers, will get people to their feet with this great opener.

“Tio Macaco’ by Snarky Puppy, is an upbeat cha-cha that will have the band on the field moving as much as the people in the stands. It means ‘uncle monkey.’

“Echano’ by Chuck Mangione; this tribute to his manager Ozzie Cummins (mangionemagic.com) is a blast of a percussion feature. While the sticks are flying, our band has a fast-paced drill to set this number on fire!

“Brazil’ by S.K. Russell and Ary Barroso; this is a standard among Latin Jazz. Beautifully arranged by Michael Brown, this closer will have the crowd wanting more.”

What was the big challenge of band camp?

“Our biggest challenge this year (and every year) is year-round activity. We have three weeks of camp, one week for just rookies and two with full band, so that we can 'get back in shape.'  With this we do massive amounts of physical training to meet the demands of Friday Night Lights and a competition the following day. Marching band is active. It has 3-4 minutes of constant aerobic demand with 5-10 seconds rest, for a total of 8-10 minutes per show. It has no bench for when someone gets tired. (It’s 100 percent, all the time.”

What’s the wow factor this year?

“We have several things planned for audiences to walk away with a feeling of wanting more. People will have to come to a show to see. Hate to give away the specials. One thing I will say, is that we are the Smallest Band with the Biggest Sound.”

What do people need to know about your band that no one may have asked yet?

“The Bulldog Band is full of #PURPLEPRIDE (No Excuses, Just Results). We work hard. We play hard. The goal to is make lifelong learners of music. Always enjoy and respect the show.”

Copyright 2017 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

  • 2017 Hanceville Bulldog Band / Courtesy Steven Porter
  • 2017 Vinemont Eagle Band / Courtesy Skylar King