Sunday, December 15, 2019
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Illinois State Marching Invite: Class 2A

Trophies for Class 2A were awarded this morning at the State of Illinois Invitational Marching Band Championships on the campus of Illinois State University. Morton High School, located just outside Peoria, took first place and received special caption awards for best music performance, best visual performance, and best general effect.

Director Jeff Neavor took his marchers (the group is about 121 strong on the field) to represent the state of Illinois in the Inaugural Parade of President Barack Obama last January.

The field show, entitled “The Butterfly Effect,” is based on Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The title suggests certain aspects of chaos theory, whereby one small event can have a ripple effect and huge consequences on a larger system.

According to the Web site, the “butterfly effect” is so named because it suggests that “the wing movements of a butterfly might have significant repercussions on wind strength and movements throughout the weather systems of the world, and theoretically, could cause tornadoes halfway around the world.”

Very interesting. But Mr. Neavor also told the Chicago Voxitatis about another ripple effect: the effect hard work has on the development of students’ life skills:

We have sectionals and full ensemble rehearsals starting in July. We have a pre-camp one week before Band Camp. Section leaders and first time marchers work on Tuesday from 8-noon, and the rest of band joins them on Wednesday and Thursday. When school begins, we meet during our 50 minute period each day and have sectionals Monday after school. Tuesday and Thursday nights are full band rehearsals for 2.5 hours. … Marching band teaches students about life more than anything. With hard work, the impossible can be acheived. Nothing worth gaining is ever free. Learning to work with people, organize your time, and push yourself mentally and physically will help you with all of your future endeavors in life. Doing all this, while having great experiences with music is the overall goal.

In second place in Class 2A was Lincoln-Way West, a brand new school formed by the split of the over-populated Lincoln-Way Central in New Lenox, in Chicago’s southwest suburbs and near Joliet. Steve Nedzel, the band’s director, moved over with those students to launch the program. Their show’s title, which earned them the special caption award for best crowd appeal in the class today, fits their newness: “Warrior: Rising to Battle.”

And the Maple Leaf Marching Band from Geneseo High School took third place in Class 2A. The group is led by director Steve Scherer and presented a show entitled, “Variations on a Korean Folk Song, Miss Saigon.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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