On Saturday evening, 18 local high school marching bands gathered on the football pitch at Winchester Community High School to stage their shows in the Drums at Winchester Band competition. All these groups hope to be part of the “sweet 16” and win the best overall trophy at Indiana State Fair Band Day next Friday.
The evening started at 6:30 p.m. when Anderson entered the field to present his show “Van Highlanders”. The last group of the evening was Lincoln High School in Cambridge City with their “Catching All The Stars” program. In between there were performances by Frankton-Lapel, Jac-Cen-Del, The Pride of Yorktown, The Monroe Central Marching Bears, Lebanon, The Jay County Marching Patriots, Marion, South Vermillion, Northeastern, The Blackford Marching Bruins , West Lafayette’s The Sound of the West Side, Kokomo, Tipton, Richmond, Western Boone, and of course, “The Force” of Winchester.
All the groups did a wonderful job. There were colorful flags, interesting props, and upbeat music. Some groups presented more pop shows, such as Northeastern’s “Summer of Love”, which featured familiar songs from that era, such as “Hey Jude” by the Beatles. Other groups turned more to classical music, some were somewhere in between.
Each band’s performance centered on a theme, some like the aforementioned “Summer of Love” were more fun, others like Kokomo’s “Malala” had a more serious message. “The Force” presented their show in honor of “The Greatest Generation”.
The term was popularized by the title of a 1998 book by American journalist Tom Brokaw. In the book, Brokaw profiles those American members of this generation who came of age during the Great Depression and continued to fight during World War II, as well as those who contributed to the war effort on the Home Front. . Brokaw wrote that these men and women did not fight for fame or recognition, but because it was “the right thing to do.”
As of 2019, approximately 389,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are still alive. The living members of this generation are 90 years old or 100 years old. This generation is rapidly disappearing. “This generation has faced incredible hardships in silence and serves as an example of how to face great adversity with great humility,” said group director Joel Good. “We are losing members of this generation at a tremendous rate,” he continues. “It was supposed to be our show in 2020, but then Covid hit,” he explains. “Maybe learning more about the bigger generation can help these kids learn to cope with the challenges they will face, including all the hardships that Covid has caused,” Good said.
This season’s Force Drum Majors are Caleb Hines, Brooklyn Goforth and Ryanne Lacy. “We’re really excited about this year’s show,” Hines said. “We have a very good group of freshmen,” added Goforth. “I think this is the biggest group we’ve walked with in recent years,” Hines added. “We have a really talented group this year, hopefully we get to the Indiana State Fair Band Day Finals this year,” Lacy said.
The show features backdrops with images from the era, including “Rosie the Riveter” and Uncle Sam’s famous “I Want You” image. The Color Guard wear hairstyles and dresses reminiscent of the era as well as red, white and blue patriotic flags.
“The Force” placed first of the night with a score of 81.2. They were closely followed by Lebanon with a score of 81.175. Kokomo was third at 80.85, Jay County was fourth at 80.425. Northeastern was fifth at 78.75 followed by Anderson at 77.925. Richmond came in seventh with a score of 64.525 followed by West Lafayette with a score of 64.025. Marion was ninth with a score of 61.975, followed by Yorktown with a score of 58.95. Monroe Central came in eleventh with a score of 56.1 followed by Frankton-Lapel with a score of 53.25. Clinton’s South Vermillion came in thirteenth with a score of 52.9 followed by Tipton with a score of 52.7. Western Boone scored 50.1 to manage fifteenth, followed by the Blackford High School Bruins with a score of 42.3. Lincoln of Cambridge City scored 39.575 for seventeenth place, and Jac-Cen-Del of Osgood had the lowest score at 34.85.
All of these groups will travel to Indianapolis on Friday for State Fair Band Day where they hope all their hard work pays off and they win the coveted Indiana State Fair Band Day Champion. At the News-Gazette, we wish all these hard-working students good luck.