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Farragut High School band rocks the comp

The Farragut High School Marching Admirals Band is preparing to rock the marching band competition circuit with its Beatles 2010 show.

FHS band director Ron Rogers said his group has gotten a bit of a late start this year, competition wise, because of the hot weather this summer.

“We are getting ready, this week, to put together the last 30 seconds of the show. This year has gone a lot slower because we had those 78 straight days of 90 degrees or better,” he added.

This year’s program will include Beatles hits such as “Eleanor Rigby,” “Norwegian Wood” and “Yesterday.”

“We are going to end the program with “Twist and Shout,” Rogers said.

Fans of Farragut High School Admirals football may already have seen the majority of the program during the FHS band’s halftime performances.

Rogers said the hardest part of choosing show performance content is making it appealing to both the halftime audience and competition judges.

“We want the music we do to be educational to our kids but approachable to our audience. We realize that the biggest crowds that see us all fall are the Friday night crowds. And we want them to be able to, number one, recognize some of the music and, number two, enjoy the music.

“A lot of people do a really highbrow show, which will fare great on Saturdays with judges, but sometimes it won’t come over well on Friday nights, so we try to meet somewhere in the middle on finding our show content,” he said.

As far as competition rules, Rogers said there are no rules regarding musical content.

“You always want to be tasteful. You want to do good music and things that will not only entertain the kids, but also educate them.

“That has always been very important to us. We have done a few different things over the years with music but we always go with ‘entertain outdoors and educate indoors’ type of thing,” Rogers said.

Program time is of concern during competition.

“From the moment you step on the field to the moment you step off the field, you usually have 15 minutes. That includes all your set up, all the moving equipment on and off, so you have to tailor your show within that time frame,” Rogers said.

“Our show, from first to last note, will be about eight and a half to nine minutes, which then gives us about three minutes to get on the field and about three minutes to clear the field. In many contests there are numbers penalties on your overall score if you don’t clear the field in time,” he added.

Months of work go into planning and executing a marching band performance.

“Our first day of band camp was July 26. So we are coming up on two months … and just about everybody is about where we are, putting their last 30 seconds or so together in what we would call rough form. And then over the next four to six weeks we will be tweaking and polishing and try to make the most out of the program,” Rogers said.

“We will probably be tweaking and altering and changing right up to the very last minute to try and find the right mix,” he added.

The program can be seen Tuesday, Oct. 12, at Knox County Schools Marching Band Exhibition beginning at 6 p.m., at Hardin Valley Academy.

FHS Band will compete in contests on Saturday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 30.

“On Oct. 23 we are going to Sullivan North, on the far side of Kingsport, for a contest. On Oct. 30, I am not sure yet. We would like to go out of state just to see how we would fare against some people we don’t normally see,” Rogers said.

“But every day I get three to five new contest invitations, so we are still trying to weigh some options as far as that date,” he added.


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