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The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

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The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft


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The Bulldog band dove “Into the Depths”

Cooper Bortmess
All of the students hard work goes into performances at contests and football games.

The Edmond Memorial High School marching band had another successful season this year. The Bulldog band competed in three main contests this year, placing second, fifth and 12th respectively. Stealing the General Effect caption award over Mustang at the Deer Creek invitational was the icing on the cake for this year’s placements.

The show’s title was “Into the Depths” written by Colton Hines, a well known marching composer, and the music dives into the ocean and the different vibes it brings. The show starts joyfully and ends very dark, depicting how the water becomes darker and more treacherous the deeper one goes. The color guard was dressed as mermaids and played a dark and murderous part in the show as they “kill” the band at the end. The band utilized big, light blue pillars as props and a new gray uniform design to set the scene.

While writing and designing a show, the skill level of the band plays a huge role in the final outcome. A balance between difficult, educational music and easy, high scoring music needs to be taken into consideration. Since easier music can be comfortably performed at a higher level than challenging pieces, schools who put an emphasis on that place much higher at contests. However, the EMHS band staff finds musical education of equal importance and considers it alongside competitive placement.

“I would rather it be a fun, challenging show, knowing that there is high-risk high-reward [in placement], as opposed to a low-risk, high-placing show that sacrifices the student experience,” Assistant Director Kevin McDonald said.

Another huge change this year was Tanner Morgan taking charge as Director of Bands. His philosophies were drastically different from previous directors, bringing a new perspective to the program.

“Band needs to be fun. If we do not enjoy making music, how can we convey emotion in our performances? In order to inspire our audience we must be inspired ourselves and take tremendous pride in our program and what we do everyday,” Morgan said. “It will take time, but I hope that the band room can be a place that my students think of as home and that starts by having fun.”

A teaching philosophy that forms around the students’ personalities is what led the band to success. Positive feedback over critical analysis was the most obvious change that kept spirit alive and kept the band improving. This group of students responded well to encouragement and the staff took advantage of it throughout the season, drastically improving morale and performance.

“This marching season was a period of change as we have a new director and our entire focus shifted in our rehearsal environment,” senior Drumline member Nathaniel Stephens said. “There were a lot of changes made this year that I thought elevated the band to a higher level while rehearsing compared to the past three years.”

While there was a ton of success, there will always be ways to improve. Since band is a very layered, complex activity, it is near impossible to have a perfect season. Balancing the show design, music composition, member personalities, marching and keeping the members practicing shows the many ways for something to go wrong.

A few basic changes will include a greater emphasis on fundamental marching technique, and implementing additional rehearsal strategies early on that will target more specific learning goals,” Morgan said.

With new changes in mind, next year is set up to be even better than this successful year. A growing band program has many ups and downs and these last years have been on the rise to recreate the program’s precedent of excellence.

Contact Ian Humphreys at [email protected]

About the Contributor
Ian Humphreys
Ian Humphreys, Managing Editor
My name is Ian Humphreys and I am the managing editor this year! I took the intro class my sophomore year and was on staff last year. Outside of journalism, I am on the EMHS drumline and also marched DCI drumline this past summer. I love to skateboard and play frisbee golf as well.