The FHS Marching Band is proud to present Newsies, the 1992 Disney classic starring Christian Bale, for this year’s marching show. It includes songs such as Carrying the Banner, King of New York, The World will Know, Seize the day and Santa Fe. They have been practicing the music since this past June, and had two weeks in August dedicated to learning the marching and putting it all together with the music. Since their first performance on August 26th, they have improved greatly as a band, in their marching and their musical skills alike.
I recently had the opportunity to interview the band directer, Mrs. Umhoefer, about the current marching band season.
Q1: What is the theme of the marching show this year?
A1: “The 2016 marching show is the music of Newsies: Seize the Day.” It features selections from the Broadway musical which premiered in 2012. The songs from the 1992 movie are Carrying the Banner, Seize the Day, King of New York, Santa Fe, and The World will Know.“
Q2: How does this marching show compare to ones from years past?
A2: “This is my eighth year here at the high school, and over the course of those eight years we’ve really strived to grow in both our abilities and the challenges that we tackle. So this is our most challenging show visually and musically. We have 76 sets of drill, which are the different movements on the field. Normally it’s about 50 or 60, so we’ve added quite a bit more, and the music is the most challenging set of music that we’ve ever had as well, so I’m really proud of how the students are handling that.”
Q3: You’ve had three competitions so far, one at Waukesha North, one at Waukesha South, and just recently at Greendale. How did these go?
A3: “They went very well, I was proud of the performances that the students put forth at Waukesha North, that was a very early weekend, only four bands participated in that invite, when it’s normally about 15, so the fact that we are part of that opening set, that we are willing to take on that challenge in presenting our show so early is fantastic. The students had a chance to engage in a critique directly with the judges which was very helpful. When we performed at Waukesha West on Sunday the 25th, the student’s scores increased in almost every area, that they performed with a ton of energy, the crowd was really engaged, I was very very proud of that. And Greendale, the same thing. Our show just continues to get better and better, we’re adding more general effect and choreography work, the students really performed well for the judges in a focused way, so we’ve gotten really good feedback from the judges we just have, as of this point on October 4th, we have eleven days left of our season, so we are really looking forward to taking that feedback and applying it to our state competition.”
Q4: What do you think the band could work on to better themselves for their upcoming competition on Saturday?
A4: “The feedback we continue to get from the judges are that we just need to have confidence in what we do. They see that all of the elements are there, the students know wht their doing, it’s just a matter of conveying that, and executing it with confidence, and then musically providing as much contrast and dynamic changes as possible so that we present the most engaging show possible.”
Q5: Any other thoughts?
A5: “I’m really proud of the students and how they’ve taken on this challenge. We’re at our biggest show yet, our biggest band yet – we have 170 students – the parents who are involved are continuing to grow and grow, so I think this motto of seizing the day is really effective and applicable for our group.”
Coming off of their first competition at Waukesha North with a total score of 58.9, their second with a 61.9 at Waukesha West, and their third at Greendale with a 61.5, the band is ready to seize the day once more at their state competition at Whitewater on the 15th of October.