INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 14, 2009)—Mike Chiodo, director of the marching band from Lake Park High School in Roselle, Ill., said he usually “carries senior and junior drum majors, who audition” before the marching season begins. However, Karoline Giza was the only one who got credit on the blue scoreboard at Lucas Oil Stadium during the band’s performance in the semi-finals here at the Bands of America Grand National Championships.
Other drum majors who received credit elsewhere this year for Lake Park are Megan Collins and Kate Buhrke. On the field, they lead a show entitled “Elements of Balance,” which has six movements: Metal, Earth, Water, Wood, Fire, and The Harmony of Balance. Music was composed by Donald Hill.
We can see drummers unloading boxes as the band comes onto the field, wooden boxes that will no doubt come in handy later.
The band itself takes the field with the percussion and color guard in a rectangular block, shaped remarkably like the boxes the drummers carried onto the field, with arms of wind players projecting outward from the core rectangle. I should say, the arms “radiate” with a glow, to be punctuated within the next eight minutes by some of the most driving rhythms any band puts on the field today.
During a number of rhyhmic transitions, marching is so rapid that the precise lines mean little to an audience that sits bedazzled by the show’s intensity.
But this is usually just a way of getting from Point A to Point B, where anytime a championship marching band like this one points their bells to the sky, applause will surely follow.
The movements of the show have their own colors, shown on panels: white, brown, blue, beige, orange, and—I think—black. No new color was revealed for the final movement.
In the middle, one of the dancers is hoisted up, cheerleader-style, and takes a plunge, as if leaning back into a pool of water. The world doesn’t quite seem to be in balance yet: it must first be tested by water.
In the fourth movement, the drummers take those boxes that they brought onto the field, playing them like drums. We have seen cellos, English horns, and many different percussion implements today, but Lake Park is the only band in the semi-finals whose drummers play wooden boxes.
Frosted Flakes® in a Corn Flakes® world.
Then in the fifth movement, the color guard pulls out bright orange streamers to fill the field with fire.
The Marching Lancers from Lake Park High School were the grand national champions in 1996. Mr. Chiodo has been with the band since 1985, having become the director in 2004.