Thursday, March 4, 2021

BOA Grand Nationals: Bellbrook, Ohio


INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 14, 2009)—Wolves howl, girls wear red capes like Little Red Riding Hood, and field props remind us of a forest as the marching band from Bellbrook High School in Bellbrook, Ohio, takes the field at Lucas Oil Stadium in the semi-finals, here at the Bands of America Grand National Championships.

The music, based on the ethereal Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, especially in the middle section, with woodwinds on the right of the field and brass on the left, ties the whole show together.

With a little bit of character acting thrown in, the show’s theme, “Deceived,” is underscored by a narrator who tells us things are never as they seem. Poses with strange body positions and bewildered facial expressions keep us on our toes.

But eventually the opposing musical and positional forces break apart, dazzle us as individual cohorts for a while, and then come back together in a dramatic climax.

A well timed sound effect creates another feeling of uncertainty in this highly artistic rendering of segments of Mozart’s mass, as a girl runs through a creaking door stage right.

Bellbrook’s marching band is directed by Chris Foster and led out on the field by drum majors Kelley Horner and Michael VanKirk. Although they have never been named grand national champion, they have had impressive runs as a national class champion, including a string of four consecutive class championships at the Grand Nationals in 1998-2001.

Paul Katula
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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