Here’s one we can get behind — a salute to the news will be the Amherst Marching Comets’ competition routine this fall.
“The whole show is based on historical headlines,” said band director Chris Barbaro. “It’s just a cool concept. I like to match the show to what the kids’ talent level is and it seems like a good match.”
Football halftime spectators and state judges this year will see a set mirroring the themes of the news with somber dark ballads and heroic anthems.
Look for a marching formation showing the stock market crash, nods to evening news anchors, “reporter” majorettes, and segments recalling the breaking news of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, President Richard Nixon’s resignation, landfall of Hurricane Katrina, President Ronald Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech, and a tribute to South African President Nelson Mandela.
Barbaro said the kids will mix high-energy pieces such as “Fireball,” “Bang Bang,” and “Shake It Off” into Friday night performances at Comets football games.
The Amherst band is 128 musicians strong this year with 28 seniors.
They have a lot to live up to. Last year marked the 10th anniversary of superior ratings at state competition for Steele High School.
Competing schools from across Ohio have been getting better and better with each passing year, Barbaro said. “Something we would have gotten a ‘one’ (top rating) for five years ago wouldn’t get it today,” he said. “The industry keeps getting tougher and we’re staying at the top.”
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Trombonist Savannah Williams keeps her elbows out while marching Friday in breezy 80-degree temps.