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Marching Cougars, Vanguard prep for Springs Valley

Marching Cougars, Vanguard prep for Springs Valley
Marching Cougars, Vanguard prep for Springs Valley
The Corydon Central Vanguard competed with its show, What Do You See, at Floyd Central High School on Saturday. Photo by Alan Stewart
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]

The North Harrison Marching Cougars and Corydon Central Vanguard saw their placings improve at contests Saturday.

With 32 members, the Marching Cougars finished first in their class at the Ben Davis Preview of Champions. The group, with its show Bees, also received awards for Best Visual and Best General Effect.

“We improved a lot last week, but we didn’t give our best performance Saturday at Ben Davis,” said second-year director Jennifer Gordon. “Individuals had some really great runs, but it just didn’t lock in musically like it normally does. There were small errors throughout the show. We still managed to pull out Best Visual, Best Effect and first place in Scholastic B though, and I am very proud of the kids’ efforts.”

Marching Cougars, Vanguard prep for Springs Valley
The North Harrison Marching Cougars, perform their show, Bees, at Ben Davis High School on Saturday. Both bands will compete Saturday at Springs Valley High School. Photo by Amy Hill

Finishing behind North Harrison were Danville, Brown County and Morristown.

Ahead of Saturday’s competition at Springs Valley, Gordon said the Marching Cougars are putting their last movement on the field this week and will perform at Friday night’s football game. They are scheduled to perform Saturday at Springs Valley at 4:13 p.m.

The Corydon Central Vanguard will follow the Marching Cougars at 4:26 p.m. at Springs Valley. They are coming off a week where they finished fourth in the Indiana State School Music Association’s Scholastic Class B division at Floyd Central behind Salem, Eastern (Pekin) and Heritage Hills. They also earned Best Percussion. Rounding out Class B were Northeast Dubois, Batesville, New Albany, Madison Consolidated and Charlestown.

“They did really well this past weekend and showed lots of improvement from the performance last week in Paoli,” said Steven Kurk, who succeeded Jason Novak this summer as band director. “We performed the entire show, all three movements, for the first time and have started adding more visuals into the show.”

The Vanguard also took home the Fan Favorite award for Scholastic Class B and Open Class D.

“This week we’ll be concentrating on adding more visual movements into the show, as well as adding more color guard work into the second movement,” said Kurk.

The Corydon Central Vanguard’s show is titled What Do You See, with field props resembling Rorschach tests, and features senior Hailey Bennett (flute), junior Alex Harmon (trombone) and junior Emily Williams (trumpet) as soloists. Musical selections include “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modest Mussorgsky, “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith.

Kurk’s assistants include Cassidy Roberts (color guard) and Taylor McBride (percussion).

Born in Kentucky in 1987, Kurk graduated from Bullitt East High School and Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned a degree in music education.

When asked how he became interested in music, Kurk said, “It runs in the family. My mother is a music teacher and all of my older siblings were involved in band.”

Kurk mainly plays the trombone but can also play the piano and clarinet.

Before coming to the South Harrison Community School Corp. in July, he taught the past 10 years in Illinois. He taught band and choir for six years at Iroquois West in Gilman, Ill., and band for three years at Hoopeston Area High School in Hoopeston, Ill.

Kurk and his wife, Rebecca, both recently took up running and biking.

“We also like traveling and hanging out with our two girls,” Matilda (Tilly) and Lucinda (Lucy), he said.