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Band fine-tunes ultimate show

posted Nov 1, 2013, 8:41 AM by webmaster dhs   [ updated Nov 1, 2013, 8:41 AM ]
from The Star--To prepare for Saturday's state marching band finals, the DeKalb Baron Brigade is using a technique the members call "code red."
     Band assistants watch from high in the football stadium press box and blow a whistle for any mistake.  As soon as the whistle blows, the band restarts that movement.
     "If there's any mistake, we start over," director Terry Fisher said.  "The desire is to be more consistent."
     the marching band qualified for Saturday's state marching band finals in class B by placing in the top 10 at Pike High School in Indianapolis last Saturday.
     The Baron Brigade will per form its show for the community tonight at 5:30 p.m. on the DeKalb High School football field.
     The group heads out early Saturday at 2:50 a.m. to make the trek to Indianapolis, where they will perform at 10:26 a.m. in the Class B finals at Lucas Oil Stadium.  DeKalb will be the third band to perform.
     Tickets for the show will be available at the stadium Admission cost is $20 for adults and $18 for students and pre-schoolers.  Children under 2 years of age will be admitted free.  Gates will open at 9 a.m.
     In preparation for Saturday, the band continued with regularly scheduled rehearsals this week.  One added bonus is the assistance of the drill writer, who choreographed all of the band's movements.
     Saturday's performance will mark DeKalb's return to the state finals after a one-year absence.  Senior drum major Jordan McDaniel has been a member of the band for the last four years.
     "I've seen so much progress, and it feels great to be a part of it,"  McDaniel said.  Looking to Saturday, McDaniel said the band is focusing on how to eliminate minor mistakes.
     "We want to make sure that everything is perfect for our final performance."  he said.
     Missing the cut for last year's state finals was a disappointment, McDaniel said.  The students looked at last year and realized what they did wrong, he added.
     "We were overconfident," McDaniel said.  The band now is paying attention to small things and "not assuming we're going to win," he said.
     "We feel stronger than we ever have," he said about this season.  "The attitude of the band is very positive."
     To be their best, McDaniel said, the band members need to make sure to "keep their toes up all the time" and "take pride in absolutely everything that we're doing."
     Jacob Burris, leader for the band's low brass section, said what he enjoys most about the band is being able to perform.
     "It's thrilling to go out into the field and get the reaction from the crowd,"  Burris said.  His role as a section leader is to make sure everything works and help everyone bet better, he said.  The band has 14 musicians in the low brass section.
     "We spend a lot of time learning and going over drills.  It seems to be paying off in the long run," Burris said.  
     The band's show, titled "We Are DeKalb," features original music written by Michael Pote and percussion arrangements by Michael McIntosh.  Narrative about the DeKalb community is interspersed with the music.
     "Imagine a place where smiles abound and strangers quickly become friends." one segment of the narrative begins.  "Where there is welcome and acceptance there is community.  Where there is community, there is caring.  I am DeKalb."