High School bands bring color and pageantry to Purdue Band Day
Friday, September 7, 2007
From movie tunes by John Williams to rock numbers by Nine Inch Nails, Purdue’s annual “All-American” High School Band Day on Saturday, Sept. 15, samples the wide range of music that Americans love.
Twenty-three bands from as close as West Lafayette High School, which is two blocks from Ross-Ade Stadium, to as far as Crown Point, Berne and Rushville will fill the field with color and pageantry for Purdue’s second home football game.
William Fread, a retired music educator from Hartford City who’s respected by teachers across the state as the first executive director of the Indiana State School Music Association, will serve as guest conductor for the massed band show at halftime. It will feature nearly 1,500 performers.
Titled “Band Day Celebration,” the halftime show opens with Purdue’s “All-American” Marching Band performing Kool and the Gang’s smash hit “Celebration”and“The Hand That Feeds” by Nine Inch Nails while the high school bands assemble on the sidelines. Then they’ll flood onto the field with musicians stretching from end zone to end zone for the massed bands’ show.
Under the direction of Fread, the massed bands will perform a rousing rendition of John Williams’ “Raider’s March” made famous in the 1970’s hit movie Raider’s of the Lost Arc. Next up is Johnny Rivers “Secret Agent Man. The show closes with “God Bless the USA”as a tribute to men and women serving around the world in the various units of the United States armed services.
Following the football game, the Purdue “All-American” Band will join ensembles from Purdue Musical Organizations for a brief concert outside Hovde Hall commemorating 9/11. The high school bands will not perform at the Hovde concert.
Purdue Asst. Director Max Jones, who was a high school band director before joining the “All-American” Band staff, knows the impact Band Day has on young musicians.
“The thrill of being around a college band is very exciting for high school kids,” Jones says. 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,” he adds. “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.”
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