Bands marching to new contest beat

Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Forest Park freshman baritone player Hailey Thayer rehearsed a portion of the marching band’s routine during practice in Ferdinand on Tuesday. Forest Park along with the Jasper, Southridge and Northeast Dubois marching bands will participate Saturday in the first-ever Indiana State School Music Association Scholastic Preliminaries contest at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium in Jasper. Of those four bands, only Northeast Dubois will compete for a score and the opportunity to move forward to the state competition. The other bands automatically will advance to the regional contests Oct. 19.

By CLAIRE MOORMAN
Herald Staff Writer

JASPER — The Jasper High School Marching Wildcats set up their practice equipment and instruments at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium on Tuesday evening in preparation for the Indiana State School Music Association competition that will be held there Saturday.

The contest will differ from the district competition many in the community have grown used to. This school year, ISSMA announced a change to its rules that did away with the traditional first round of the marching bands’ race to the state finals.

All Dubois County bands will perform at the Jasper contest this weekend, but only Northeast Dubois will compete for a chance to move on to the state contest. The band will perform at 12:44 p.m.
The other bands will perform in exhibition and automatically will advance to the regional contests Oct. 19.

The Marching Jeeps opted to join the new Scholastic Class created this year by ISSMA, which is for only Class A and B band programs with fewer than 100 members and Class C and D programs with fewer than 50 members. The Jasper event will serve as the preliminary contest for scholastic-level bands in the area. Eight have signed up to perform.

Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Forest Park freshman Mitchell Tobin, second from left, rehearsed a portion of the marching band’s routine during practice in Ferdinand on Tuesday.

Forest Park, Jasper and Southridge will perform their exhibition shows for the standard open class after the preliminary contest has ended. Those bands and nine others will receive comments and suggestions from the judges, as well as a private rating number that according to ISSMA guidelines will not be released to the public. All open-class bands will advance to the regional contests, and the Jasper performance will give them some idea of their standing in the judges’ eyes so they can make changes before the real competition begins, Jasper Band Director James Goodhue explained.

When the changes were announced, Goodhue was concerned that the competition, which previously had netted the band program about $15,000 per year, would no longer be a helpful fundraiser. He said the earning potential of the show won’t be known until it happens, though with only 20 bands attending instead of the usual 30, the revenue likely will decrease. Jasper band boosters still will run a full concession stand at the event, and high school students will be responsible for helping set up and clean up equipment before and after the show.

“Some of these bands are really small, so even if they bring every parent, they’ve got 20 people and they bring 40 parents. It might be really bad or it might be OK,” Goodhue said. “We just don’t know until we do it.”

Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Forest Park senior Michaela Kelly rehearsed a portion of the color guard’s routine during practice in Ferdinand on Tuesday.

Scholastic bands that receive a gold rating from the judges Saturday will advance to the scholastic state finals at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis on Oct. 26.

The Marching Wildcats will perform most of their show, “Angelic Voices,” at the contest at 6:35 p.m. in Class B. Southridge High School’s Marching Raiders will perform “MASKerade” at 5:56 p.m. in Class C, which is a change from the norm.

“We were in Class C two years ago, but we are used to being in Class D,” Band Director Lannie Butler said. “Most of the more competitive C bands are further north. Most of the more competitive D bands are south and that is what we are used to.”

Butler said the contest is important to his students even though their final rating will not count toward sending them to the state finals.

Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Forest Park eighth-grader Lanette Blume, right, rehearsed a portion of the marching band’s routine during practice in Ferdinand on Tuesday.

“We plan to treat our performance as a practice run for regional. It is still set up the same way,with warm-ups, timing penalties,” he said. “This will be a good practice. (District) usually gave you a read on how we were doing against the bulk of the competition. Now we don’t see too many bands until regional.”

Goodhue said he is hopeful that parents and community members throughout the county will be drawn to the local competition as a chance to see their favorite bands perform. Butler added that he expects many fans to be in attendance as they have been in years past.

“We will have many people cheering us on,” he said. “Overall, we look forward to having another ”˜home’ weekend.”

Forest Park’s Marching Rangers will perform their electricity-themed show, “PowerHouse,” at 5:04 p.m. in Class D.

Contact Claire Moorman at cmoorman@dcherald.com.




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