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Marching season underway

The Northern Lights weren’t seen Saturday ‘ and neither was any rain in the area ‘ but there was a ‘Primal’ feel to the ‘Process’ as area bands began the 2007 marching competition season.
All three band directors are excited about this year’s shows.
‘I think we will be really good,’ Gary Crisp said of the North Harrison Marching Cougars.
The director, with 16 years under his belt, has 92 band members this year, with about 19 of them seniors.
North Harrison’s show is called ‘Aurora Borealis: The Northern Lights.’ Crisp said the three musical selections ‘ or ‘myths’ ‘ represent Native Americans, the Scottish and the Vikings. During the show, a woodwind quintet is featured.
Senior Brad Hamilton returns as a third-year field commander.
‘We got behind due to the hot weather (this summer),’ Crisp said. ‘I can’t believe (marching season) is here again.’
For Saturday’s competitions, guard members performed without their uniforms, which hadn’t arrived yet. Crisp said he expected the shipment Monday, in plenty of time for competition this Saturday.
Saturday morning, North Harrison hosted its competition, then traveled a few miles south for the First Capital Marching Festival hosted by Corydon Central High School.
The CCHS Vanguard competed that morning at NHHS before returning to Corydon and preparing to host its invitational. They even had a special guest at their show, Bill Macy, a resident of the old Corydon Nursing Home. Members of the band boosters said Macy used to sit on the facility’s front porch and watch the Vanguard practice when it was using the parking lot at Corydon Intermediate School. Then, he would be outside to wave at them as they passed by on Saturdays, heading to competitions.
Macy had a reserved seat for Saturday night’s show and was wearing a ‘No. 1 fan’ button given to him by the band. He said it’s been fun to see how the Vanguard improves each year.
Josh Stewart, who is beginning his third year as director of the Vanguard, is looking forward to the season. The Vanguard’s show, ‘Primal,’ has ‘a tribal feel, a lot of aggression and power,’ he said.
The music is by James Newton Howard, composer of films including ‘King Kong.’ Soloists in the show are Glenn Gruny and Dathan Utz, senior trumpet players, and underclassman Cameron Smith on the trombone.
The Vanguard has 14 seniors and 20 freshmen among its 81 members. Field commander is senior Casey Reas.
‘I’m pleased with how we’re going this year,’ Stewart said. ‘I’ve got good vibes. I’m anxious to see how we’ll do.’
The newest director in the area, John Fischer of the Crawford County Wolfpack band, is working with 22 returnees this year, his second year, among his group of 36.
‘A Painter’s Process,’ the Wolfpack’s show, features music written by Fischer. He also wrote the music for last year’s show.
Fischer prefers to call what they are doing a ‘process’ rather than a show. The three movements are about innovation (the artist’s struggle to come up with an idea), reflection (the process of completing the idea) and completion, which ‘has more of an upbeat feeling.’
Kacie Edwards, a junior at Crawford County, has turned in her flute to take on the role as field commander this year.
The Wolfpack band has ‘huge potential’ this year, Fischer said.
Judges at the First State Capital Marching Festival took notice of that potential, awarding Crawford County first place in its Class.
Here are the complete results from Corydon Central’s competition:
Class A ‘ Crawford County, first, Best Percussion, Best Field Commander, Best General Effect, Best Music and Best Visual; Charlestown, second; Borden, third and Best Color Guard;
Class AA ‘ Pekin Eastern, first, Best Percussion, Best Field Commander, Best General Effect, Best Music and Best Color Guard; Silver Creek, second and Best Visual; New Albany, third; Salem, fourth;
Class AAA ‘ North Harrison, first, Best Color Guard, Best Field Commander, Best General Effect and Best Music (tie); Paoli, second, Best Percussion, Best Visual and Best Music (tie); Bloomington South, third.
Overall Grand Champion ‘ North Harrison.
Here are the complete results from North Harrison’s competition:
Class A ‘ Henryville, first, Best Music, Best General Effect, Best Visual, Best Guard and Best Percussion; Crawford County, second;
Class AA ‘ Orleans, first, Best Music, Best Visual, Best General Effect and Best Guard; Pekin Eastern, second, and Best Percussion; New Albany, third;
Class AAA ‘ Paoli, first, Best Music, Best General Effect and Best Percussion; Corydon Central, second, Best Visual and Best Guard; Bloomington South, third.
During intermission between the Class AA and Class AAA bands, the Marching Cougars had elementary students who participated in a guard clinic perform. Chris Morris, a former Marching Cougar who works with the guard, said this was the first year for them to host that type of clinic. The youngsters performed a brief routine using hand movements and flags.
Morris also mentioned that a North Harrison Band Alumni Association has been formed with two main purposes: to help with requests the Marching Cougars may have and to raise money for the Clayton E. Norris Memorial Scholarship. Norris was a band student who died before graduating from high school.
For more information, e-mail Morris at [email protected] A minimum donation of $20 is requested to join the association.
On Saturday evening, the Vanguard, Marching Cougars and Wolfpack will compete at the Paoli contest.
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