Band Preview Show rocks the house
“In the heat of a summer night …
“Brother what a night the people saw …”
“The Night Chicago Died,” Paper Lace (1974)
By Wayne Hinshaw
For the Salisbury Post
On a perfect late summer night, six Rowan County high school bands gathered at South Rowan’s James Donnell Stadium for their annual Band Preview Show.
Jesse Carson, East Rowan, North Rowan, Salisbury, South Rowan and West Rowan high bands gathered to strut their stuff with their best football half-time show or the show they will present in band competitions.
“Brother what a night” for the county marching band supporters to watch and listen to the top band students present their talent. The students’ emotions and excitement flew high enough to bounce off the distant rain clouds. With the sound of the mellophones, clarinets, trombones, saxophones, flutes and sousaphones echoing off the pine trees around the stadium, the rapid, deep beating of the drums brought one back to the field.
“This is the only time we get to see each other. The kids are real serious. This is our sport. They work out all summer, continuing through football season, marching in four Christmas parades and the veterans parade. Everybody is so busy with the band competitions. These students just keep rising to the occasion. All the bands are different,” said Jesse Carson High Band Director Jeff Street.
Daniel Trivette, the West Rowan band director, added, “This is a good dry run for the competitions that start in a week for some bands. It is good for all the county to see their shows. It’s a blast for the members. At football games, you never get to do your entire show. This is about team work in the community for us, and the bands split the gate receipts.”
The 30-member Salisbury High Marching Hornet Band is directed by Dustin Mills. Their 2009 show is called “Motown.” Drum majors Kyrsten Lane and Jasmin Cowan led the band in music selections, “I Want You Back” and “Respect.” The color guard captain is Bryce Ford. The percussion captain is Kaylin Cowger. The high brass captain is Robert Beaver; low brass captain is Jace Weddington; and woodwind captain is Michael Swenson.
The East Rowan Mustang Regiment has 55 members and is directed by Emily Davis. The 2009 show is titled “Fantasmic” with selections “Mickey the Sorcerer” and “Princes Medley.” Director Davis called the show “the happiest show on turf.” Drum majors are Shalyn Miller and Cristin Ritchie. Color guard captain Leah Hines preformed a wonderful dance routine. Her co-captain is Katelyn Walton.
Percussion captain is Ricky Cleveland; pit captain is Dale Davis; flute captain is Jordan Warden; clarinet captain is Katy Bryant; saxophone captain is Cody Cline; trumpet captain is Aaron Mims; mellophone captain is Rusty Fisher; low brass captain is Anglea Sigmon; low woodwinds is Hayley Kirschner. Aaron Mims perform a trumpet solo.
The South Rowan Raider Regiment, which is 55 members strong, is directed by Todd Whittington. The South 2009 show is titled “Crime Scene Investigator,” based on the interest in all the crime investigation TV shows. Director Whittington composed the original songs “Fanfave,” “Looking for Clues,” “Red Hat” and “Lipstick.” He also choreographed the band and color guard movements. Drum major is Caleb Helms, along with color guard captain Marisa Holman. Band captains are clarinet, Kim Galloway; saxophone, Josh Allman; low brass, Nicole Motley; and trumpets, Oavian Miller.
Jesse Carson High has the largest marching band, with 82 members. Director Jeff Street presented the 2009 show “Dances Through the Ages.” Music selections were “Danza Final,” “Mambo” and “Swing, Swing, Swing.” Drum majors for the Marching Cougars are Robby Gianfrancesco and Joshua Burr. Color guard captains are Emily Peeler, Taylor Wood, Emily Walser and Heather Purvis. Other captains are drums, Caleb Barnhardt, Cherokee Blackmon; brass, Evan Rittenhouse, Meredith Allen, Dylan Fletemier; woodwind, Perrell Brown, Patrick Diep and Erin Young.
The 61 member Marching Falcons from West Rowan are directed by Daniel Trivette. The 2009 show, “Into the West” included musical selections “How the West Was Won,” “Into the West,” “Wild, Wild, West” and “Heartless.” Caitlin Suire performed a saxophone solo number and was joined by Jerry Goodnight and H.A. Hoffman in another number. Drum majors are Janise Lingle and Collin Townsend. Color guard captains are Amber Gilmore and Niyahnu Roberts. Other band captains are percussion, Melissa Day and Jordan Morris. Lindsey Shoaf, Caitlin Sweer, Jacob Beck, James Goodnight, Thomas Langford, Alex Day and Daniel Housh are also captains.
The North Rowan Marching Band is directed by Keith Howe, with 70 students. Their show is titled “Symphony of Rock” with music selections from the mid-’70s just after Woodstock. Selections are “Turn, Turn, Turn Intro,” “Karn Evil 9” and “Handbags and Gladrags.” Senior trumpeter Miller Sokolowski and sophomore saxophonist John Standard performed a duet. Drum majors are Josh Price and Brittany Williams. Other captains are horn line, Jeremy Miles; drum, Carly Landreth; front ensemble, Samantha Baker; and flag captain Maya Holland.
All six bands assembled on the field together for the playing of “America the Beautiful” to end the show. The announcer introduced the six bands with the 353 young musicians as truly the All County Band.
When the night of music, marching and fundraising ended, North Rowan director Howe was voted the “Ugliest Band Director with the Smelliest Band Room.”
In the split of the gate receipts, each band received $325.