This April, the Johnson Band will kick off their head start to the marching season with a mini band camp. Throughout the season, competitions often leave students breathless, their hearts pounding, blood pumping, and adrenaline rushing. This feeling will be amplified by the pressure of the Grand National competition in Indianapolis, IN.
“The show is titled “The Circle Of Life” and is loosely based on Disney’s ‘The Lion King,’” band director Jarrett Lipman said.
This show is set up for high expectations, not only because of the plot but because of the competitions that the Johnson band is planning to go to.
“The show has to cater to the likes of the Grand National competition because it takes certain things to be able to win and we are all wanting the same thing so we might as well make it the best that we can,” sophomore Bryanna Carroll said.
Finding the perfect design for a show with so many expectations already being placed on it can be difficult.
“I like getting to imagine the musical possibilities on the field supported by visual ideas. We get ideas from everywhere,” Lipman said. “Sometimes it’s current events, sometimes it’s a picture, sometimes it’s a musical piece.”
Shows typically tend to lean away from controversy but this year, the Johnson band was riddled with it for their tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact on the world.
“So during this past year for our show, The Tremendous Sea Of Love, people took it the wrong way so Mr. Lipman was probably brainstorming ideas that we know everybody likes,” Carroll said. “Part of the score that the band gets is how the crowd reacts so obviously past shows like ‘Chameleon’ and ‘The Forest Through The Trees’ were big hits because they were fun and interactive and likeable in an almost universal way.”
To insure this year’s success in the Grand Nationals, a more advanced group will be chosen for marching at competitions.
“There is the full marching band – all 300 kids – and then the nationals team. The full marching band performs a 4 ½ minute non-competitive show at football halftime for the first two games,” Lipman said. “Selected from the larger group is a smaller group of more advanced marching musicians who will compete and perform during the fall.”
The band hopes to live up to the legacy left from “The Forest Through the Trees” in terms of quality of music.
“I wanna play the music and I’m so ready for it because supposedly it’s very good,” Carroll said.
The anticipation for this upcoming show has already started to spread around the whole band and the band hall is almost constantly filled with people either practicing or researching for next year.
“The overall aura of the show should be similar with our past successful shows because of how easy it is to get sucked into it, whether you’re in the audience or you’re a judge and it should be fun,” Carroll said. “For example, when we played Hallelujah in ‘The Forest Through The Trees,’ we made people cry because they were so wrapped up in our show and that’s an amazing feeling.”