Sun shines on Indianapolis-bound Marching Cougars
Both Harrison County marching bands came home Saturday from Indianapolis with gold ratings in regional competition, but only one advances to state this weekend.
‘We felt really good’ after Saturday’s performance at Warren Central High School, said Gary Crisp, band director at North Harrison High School.
The Marching Cougars, as well as the Vanguard from Corydon Central High School, was among the 16 bands competing in Class C at the south site of the Indiana State School Music Association’s contest.
‘We gave a good performance,’ Crisp said.
The judges must have agreed, as NHHS was named one of the five bands to advance to state competition, which will be held Saturday in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.
Of the 16 bands, 10 earned gold ratings, making them eligible for state. The other six bands earned silver ratings.
Then the tension mounted, as band directors and their students and staff, along with spectators, waited in warm sunshine for the announcer to name the five schools earning spots at state.
North Harrison didn’t have to wait long; the Marching Cougars beamed as they were the first named. They had performed third in the group of 16. Next to be named was Gibson Southern, squashing the Vanguard’s hopes to return after a year’s absence. (The Vanguard has advanced to state 10 times since 1990.) Rounding out the five were Heritage Hills, Scottsburg and Vincennes Lincoln.
The trip to state is nothing new for the Marching Cougars. This will be their 10th straight appearance in the Dome. They won their class ‘ based on school size ‘ in 1999 and 2000, and finished a close second in 1998.
‘We’re hoping to be in the top five,’ Crisp said of this year’s performance.
North Harrison’s show, ‘Luna-Sol,’ has four movements: nocturne, daybreak, eclipse and solar-bration. Soloists are flutists Katie Renneker and Kristina Schermerhorn and Joe Kramer on the french horn, all seniors. Sophomore Brad Hamilton is the field commander.
Crisp, who’s been at the helm since 1990, has 115 band members. He is assisted by Jim Stuppy, Sara Miller, Elyce Foley, Hank Rothrock, Bryan Crisp and Darrell Williamson.
On Thursday night, at 8, the Marching Cougars will perform their show on the NHHS football field for the community. Then on Friday, they will practice at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville for a couple of hours.
‘We’ll try to fine tune the show,’ Crisp said in preparation for Saturday. ‘It will be kind of like a dress rehearsal.’
The Vanguard wore their new uniforms for Saturday’s performance. The uniform consists of black pants and a black jacket with a patch of yellow and a stripe of white.
Their show, ‘Emotions: The Human Spectrum,’ had three movements that depict rage, desire and joy. Musical selections included ‘Ode to Joy,’ ‘Joy to the World’ and ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.’ Soloists were Ian Biesel on trumpet, Gavin Steele, mellophone, and guard members Julia Biesel and Sarah Brinley. Senior Nick Cline was the field commander.
Josh Stewart, in his first year as the Vanguard director, was pleased with his band’s performance this season. Stewart was assisted by Kevin Trobaugh, Micky Emily, Tiffany Hanaver, Blair Winslow, Andrew Powell and Kyle Baker.
North Harrison sported new uniforms the entire season this year. Crisp said he has heard nothing but positive comments about the ensemble that includes navy blue pants and white coats with navy trim.
‘They give us a broader, taller and bigger look,’ Crisp said.
On Saturday, state competition begins at 11 a.m. (fast time). The Marching Cougars are the second band to perform.
Crisp said he was not concerned with their order in the line up.
‘We’ve won going first and ninth before,’ he said.
Parking in the vicinity of the RCA Dome could be more of a challenge this year, as a new stadium is being constructed for the Indianapolis Colts in what used to be the parking area for the buses hauling band students. ‘They’ll have to keep the buses moving,’ Crisp said.
The Marching Cougars will not stay for the Class A competition as they have in some years. ‘There’s just nowhere to park the buses,’ Crisp said.
Here is the complete order for all four classes on Saturday:
Class B ‘ Northview/Brazil, 11 a.m.; Greenwood, 11:13 a.m.; Fort Wayne North Side, 11:26 a.m.; Jasper, 11:39 a.m.; DeKalb/Waterloo, 11:52 a.m.; Greenfield Central, 12:05 p.m.; Fort Wayne Carroll, 12:18 p.m.; Columbus East, 12:31 p.m.; Concord/Elkhart, 12:44 p.m.; Floyd Central, 12:57 p.m.; awards, 1:10 p.m.;
Class C ‘ Heritage Hills, 2:05 p.m.; North Harrison, 2:18 p.m.; Maconaquah, 2:31 p.m.; Vincennes Lincoln, 2:44 p.m.; Western/Russiaville, 2:57 p.m.; Norwell, 3:10 p.m.; Lewis Cass, 3:23 p.m.; Scottsburg, 3:36 p.m.; New Castle Chrysler, 3:49 p.m.; Gibson Southern, 4:02 p.m.; awards, 4:25 p.m.;
Class D ‘ Greentown Eastern, 5:10 p.m.; Kokomo Taylor, 5:23 p.m.; Tri-West, 5:36 p.m.; Pioneer, 5:49 p.m.; North Posey, 6:02 p.m.; Clay City, 6:15 p.m.; Forest Park, 6:28 p.m.; Heritage, 6:41 p.m.; Paoli, 6:54 p.m.; Winchester, 7:07 p.m.; awards, 7:30 p.m.;
Class A ‘ Fort Wayne Northrop, 8:40 p.m.; Penn/Mishawaka, 8:53 p.m.; Ben Davis, 9:06 p.m.; LaPorte, 9:19 p.m.; Castle/Newburgh, 9:32 p.m.; Avon, 9:45 p.m.; Columbus North, 9:58 p.m.; Lafayette Jefferson, 10:11 p.m.; Center Grove, 10:24 p.m.; Fort Wayne Homestead, 10:37 p.m.; awards.