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Purdue Band Day packs musicians from end zone to end zone
Look for the Ball State Cardinals to be far outnumbered that Saturday – and not just by Boilermakers. Cavaliers, Cougars, Panthers, Hot Dogs, Bearcats, Tigers, Zebras, Red Devils, Vikings, a Wolfpack and more will fill the stadium as more than 1,600 musicians and auxiliary members pack the annual Purdue event.
“Strike Up the Band” is the theme for halftime and the “All-American” Band uses George Gershwin’s popular Broadway tune to open the show. It’s followed by one of Lady Gaga’s current hits, “Poker Face,” which features the Golduster Dance Team. When the high school bands enter the field, the resulting massed band will perform “The Magnificent Seven,” “Rock and Roll All Nite” and John Philip Sousa’s rousing “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Each band’s already rehearsed those tunes dozens of times before coming to Purdue on Sept. 18. Prior to the game on Band Day, guest conductor Tim Lautezenheiser, from Ball State’s music faculty, brings all the bands together for a final rehearsal to finesse the music before entering Ross-Ade Stadium. Lautezenheiser will also conduct the massed band in the stadium.
Most of the high school bands who attend “All-American” Band Day come from small schools who can’t afford competition band programs. Purdue Asst. Director Max Jones, who taught at Concord High School for many years, says Band Day carries a special signifigance for them.
“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 Ten 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.”
Along with the stadium concerts, the Purdue band also presents “Thrill on the Hill,” a concert and pep rally at 10 a.m. at Slayter Center on Sept. 18, 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.
Participating bands in 2010 include:
Berne: South Adams HS Marching Starfires, Curt Amstutz, Director
Bremen: Emerald Alliance Bremen Marching Band, Matthew Sutton, Director
Churubusco: Churubusco HS Marching Pride, Mark Cheshier, Director
Cloverdale: Cloverdale HS Band, William Cole, Director
Culver: Culver Community HS Marching Cavaliers, Jason Crittendon, Director
Delphi: Delphi Community HS Band, Jay Dennison, Director
Denver: North Miami HS Marching Band, Jason Gornto, Director
Frankfort: Clinton Prairie HS “Pride of the Prairie,” James Bertucci, Director; Frankfort HS Marching Hot Dogs, Dan Troyer, Director
Flora: Carroll HS Cougar Band, Don Pettit, Director
Hope: Hauser HS Band, Stephen McKean, Director
Lebanon: Lebanon HS Tiger Pride Band, Alan Conrad, Director
Marion: Marion HS Marching Giants, Wayne Garrett, Director
Marshall: Turkey Run HS Band, Annette Munoz, Director
Michigan City: Michigan City HS Wolfpack Marching Band, Quincey Ford, Director
Montezuma: Riverton Park HS Marching Panther Band, Mike Hardesty, Director
Montgomery: Barr-Reeve Viking Band, Stephanie O’Brian, Director
Peru: Peru HS Marching Tiger Band, Diane Haley, Director
Rochester: Rochester HS Zebra Band, Barry Frisinger, Director
Selma: Wapahani HS Raider Marching Band Richard Geisler, Director
Tipton: Tipton HS Blue Devils, R.D. Fletcher, Director
Valparaiso: Wheeler HS Marching Bearcats, John VanPatten, Director; Morgan & Washington Township Marching Band, Justin Thompson,Director
West Lafayette: West Lafayette HS Marching “Red Devils,” Matt Conaway, Director
Wm. Henry Harrison HS Militia Band, Steve Cotton, Director
West Lebanon: Seeger HS Patriot Marching Pride, Dan Peo, Director
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