Band marches into the past

 

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On Oct. 19, the marching band performed for parents and students in the pit with classic music from the ’80s and ’90s. Smith Elementary music teacher, Nate Thompson, introduced the band on the stage saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, presenting your 2016 Oakwood high school marching band!” Photo by: Jonathan Steeves

On Oct. 19, the marching band performed for students and parents alike in the pit. The band, directed by Adam Uhlenhake, performed many classics of alternative rock and video game medleys.

The concert took place at 7 p.m. in the pit and lasted for 45 minutes. The band performed an array of music that featured selections from as far back as the ‘60s. The band also performed newer selections that exposed the audience to new kinds of music that are not normally performed by the marching band.

“Doing music that the kids can really latch on to: I really dig that,” Uhlenhake said. “Playing a wide variety of classic music and exposing these kids to music that they wouldn’t normally get to hear [is gratifying].”

Beginning with the alternative rock section, the band performed songs from artists such as The Doors and Weezer. The concert included songs such as “Break On Through” and “Touch Me”. For the video games section of the performance, the band played the themes from games including “Legend of Zelda”, “Super Mario Brothers”, and “Sonic The Hedgehog”. Finally, for the marching band classics, the band performed football game favorites such as “Louie Louie”, “Stand Up and Cheer”, and the “Oakwood Rumble”.

“I like to let the students have a little bit of an influence over the music,” Uhlenhake said. “I like to pull from a wide range of sources. This year we did a video game show as well as a Doors show.”

In addition to the main selection, the band played a few songs chosen and arranged by marching band seniors. Senior band member, Leo Vanderburg, arranged “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy. Yesterday’s concert marked one of the final times that the seniors performed at the high school.

“I’ve been in the Oakwood band program since fourth grade,” marching band field commander, Michelle Strauss (12) said. “Being a senior means I get to graduate and move on to new things and experiences.”

Although there are many senior band members leaving this year, there are also new faces in the band. The band reached the highest attendance numbers it has ever had, with 96 students performing this year.

“I thought it went very well,” Uhlenhake said. “I was very proud of how these kids played and I’m very proud of how they progressed all season. We learn a lot of different music in a short amount of time and they still remembered.”

By: Jonathan Steeves

steeves.jonathan@oakwoodschools.org

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