Purdue Band Day packs musicians from end zone to end zone
Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
Twenty-six high school marching bands from Indiana and Ohio will help the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band accomplish its goal of flooding Ross-Ade Stadium with color and musical pageantry on “All-American” Band Day, Sept. 16.
Look for the Ball State Cardinals to be far outnumbered that Saturday – and not just by Boilermakers. Cavaliers, Cougars, Panthers, Blackhawks, Bearcats, Red Devils, Tigers, Zebras, Apaches, Thunderbirds and more will fill the stadium as more than 1,600 musicians and auxiliary members pack the annual Purdue event.
Popular film music – the “Overture” from Cars, and themes from Mission Impossible and Pirates of the Caribbean will fill the massed band show at halftime.
Each band’s already rehearsed those tunes dozens of times before coming to Purdue. Prior to the game, guest conductor Paul Lavender brings all the bands together for a final rehearsal to finesse the sound before entering Ross-Ade Stadium. Lavender, an internationally regarded composer and arranger from Brookfield, Wis., created several of the arrangements being used at Band Day 2006.
Max Jones, who brings three decades of marching band experience to his new position as assistant director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band, knows the impact Band Day has on high school students.
“The thrill of being around a college band is very exciting for high school kids,” says the veteran director. Then you factor in performing alongside thousands of other musicians in the center of a packed 69,000-seat Big 10 stadium.
Many of the bands attending don’t participate in competitions so they look forward to the camaraderie that comes with Band Day, Jones says. “You get to see other bands, and meet other kids, and be a part of something bigger than yourself. That’s what band is all about.”
Purdue’s band staff hopes experiences like band day will encourage young musicians to stay involved in music beyond high school. “We want them to see how much fun we’re having (in the “All-American” Band) and know that music’s not just something you do in high school,” says Jones. “It’s part of our mission to develop a life-long appreciation of the arts.”
Before the massed high school band takes the field at halftime of the Ball State game, the Purdue band thoroughly intends to show off the fun they’re having with music, Jones says.
“We’ve got a jazzy arrangement of Gershwin’s ‘Strike Up The Band’ that’s really difficult to play. It’s just incredible; it’s one of the best arrangements we have. And we’ll also perform ‘What I Like About You’ to give the Golduster dancers a chance to be showcased.”
Along with the stadium concerts, the Purdue band also presents “Thrill on the Hill,” a concert and pep rally at 10:30 p.m. at Slayter Center on Sept. 16, and invites fans to follow them back to the Engineering Mall fountain following the game for its final performance of game day and the traditional drum major breakdown.
Bands and performing units participating in “All-American” Band Day 2006 include:
Attica: Attica HS Red Rambler Marching Band, Loyd Stigers, director.
Berne: South Adams HS Marching Starfires, Curt Amstutz, director.
Covington: Covington HS Trojan Marching Band & Guard, Andrew Simpkins, director.
Culver: Culver Community HS Marching Cavaliers, Catherine Tadey, director.
Decatur: Belmont HS “Marching Braves,” Janice Reynolds-Brosman, director.
Flora: Carroll HS Marching Cougars, Don Pettit, director.
Frankfort: Frankfort HS Marching Band, Daniel Troyer, director.
Griffith: Griffith HS Marching Band, Jason Pearman, director.
Hobart: Hobart HS “Pride of Hobart,” Brian Grenier, director.
Indianapolis: North Central HS Marching Panthers, Brent England, director.
Lafayette: Faith Christian HS Advanced Band, Jack Heim, director. McCutcheon HS “Pride of McCutcheon,” Brian Shaw, director.
Lynn: Randolph Southern HS “The Sound of the South,” Ross Mullins, director.
Mishawaka: Royal Majestic Baton Twirlers, Lorraine Gill, director.
Montezuma: Riverton Parke HS Panther Band & Guard, Mark Hardesty, director.
Muncie: Cowan HS Marching Blackhawk Brigade, Pamela Collins, director.
Oakland City: Wood Memorial HS Band, Stephen McKean, director.
Peru: Peru HS Marching Tiger Band, Diane Haley, director.
Rensselaer: Rensselaer Central HS Bomber Brigade, Mel Stowers, director.
Rochester: Rochester HS Zebra Band, Barry Frisinger, director.
Valparaiso: Wheeler HS Marching Bearcats, Tamara Kenning, director.
Wabash: Wabash HS Apache Marching Band, Art Conner, director.
West Lafayette: Harrison HS Militia Band, Steve Cotton, director. West Lafayette HS Marching “Red Devils,” Matt Conaway, director.
West Lebanon: Seeger Memorial HS Patriot Band, George Peterson, director.
Yorktown: Yorktown HS “Tiger Pride” Marching Band, Chris Glover, director.
Lima: Lima Central Catholic HS Marching Thunderbirds, Kelly Biese and Michelle Garlock, directors.