Thursday, October 7, 2010

HHS Raider Marching Band Festival 2010

The 17th Annual Hillsborough Raider Marching Band Festival is this Saturday, October 9th, kicking off with the National Anthem at 4 p.m. There are 20 competing marching bands plus the HHS band performance.

While every year the audience members are enthusiastic and supportive, appreciation for these musical student-athletes can only increase if those attending understand how many years of physical and academic hard work goes into each performance.

In elementary school students are introduced to music and musical instruments. The students who choose to continue their musical education learn to play an instrument and join the school band where they coordinate their own instrument with the others. Somewhere in junior high school or at the beginning of high school, the school bands transform into marching bands; so at this point these young musicians are simultaneously reading music, playing an instrument with others, and marching together.

Next the marching band choreography is added.

But there is still another element: the colorguards. These students enhance the entire marching band experience, performing with rifles, sabers, ribbons, and flags.

Now the colorguards and the bands coordinate their performances while interpreting the music they have chosen.

So, just to help with audience appreciation: imagine that you are reading music, playing an instrument in harmony with another hundred-or-so musicians, and coordinating your movements with all the other band members. Meanwhile, the colorguard is criss-crossing around you. And you are doing all this with grace.

Are you confused? Are you out of breath? Out of step? Good. This can only increase your esteem for all these outstanding students.

The show starts with Manville High School at 4 p.m. and ends with the Hillsborough High School Band's performance of "Scheherazade" at 10 p.m. followed by the final awards. Food is available. The admission fee is $9, $7 for students and seniors.

For photographs of last year's competition, go here. Scroll down the post for links to four different albums.

From last year's post, this personal comment:
The sportsmanship exhibited at the show by all the band members and their friends and relatives is stupendous. Those attending who can really appreciate the work involved, show unwavering support for each band, from the smallest schools to those powerhouse bands with seemingly unlimited resources.

Wear comfortable shoes. Be prepared to climb up the bleachers for an overview of the bands. The evening will get cool, dress in layers. Bring a few dollars for food. Be prepared to be overwhelmed. Give a cheer for all the band parents who act as "roadies."

This is a great family activity.

The photographs in the collage above are from last year's competition.
The HHS Raider Marching Band website is here.

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