Marching Barons Invitational raises funds for Disney performance

By on November 4, 2015
Manheim Central Marching Barons hosted 20 other marching ensembles from Central PA at the Barons Invitational on Halloween.  (Photos by Alan Johnson)

Manheim Central Marching Barons hosted 20 other marching ensembles from Central PA at the Barons Invitational on Halloween. (Photos by Alan Johnson)

 

To paraphrase a song, Elden Rettew stadium was “alive with the sound of music,” on Halloween. Twenty-one bands, including the hosts, the Manheim Central Marching Barons, showcased their 2015 field shows at Saturday’s annual Barons Invitational marching band competition.

Bands participating included: Big Spring, Blue Mountain, Carlisle, Columbia, Cumberland Valley, East Pennsboro, Governor Mifflin, Littlestown, Marple Newton, New Oxford, Northern Lebanon, Pottsgrove, Shikellamy, Susquehannock, Unionville, Warwick, Williams Valley, Wilson, York Catholic and York suburban.

The event was part of the Cavalcade of Bands competition; Cavalcade of Bands’ motto is “Educate Through Musical Involvement.”

Band director John Brackbill said that the 99-member (including 14 color guard) Manheim Central Marching Barons performed its 2015 field show, “Bermuda Triangle” as an exhibition during the invitational. This show explores the phenomenon of the Bermuda Triangle. It features original music composed by California marching band composer and arranger, Key Poulan.

“We’re taking a lot of risks with this show. It’s not arranged like a traditional field show, which has a strong opening, contract in the middle, then a bit of a softer tone followed by a big finish,” Brackbill explained. “This show is designed to physically and psychologically disappear; in some ways we do have the traditional setup, but there’s a coda in which the band members gradually disappear. It’s been hard to get it right, but we chose this piece since it challenges our band members and helps them develop as musicians.”

 

Drum Major Scott Johnson (center), celebrates another successful show with friends Killian Bedi (left) and Aaron Forwood.

Drum Major Scott Johnson (center), celebrates another successful show with friends Killian Bedi (left) and Aaron Forwood.

 

The band’s color guard not only adds color to the show with its flags, but they also set the tone as flags transition from an ocean blue in the opening to calmer colors and then to silver and black toward the end.

“This show takes the audience on a journey,” Brackbill concluded. “It’s about the contrast of being lost then finding your way and then disappearing in the end.”

The fact that this year’s annual Manheim Central Marching Barons Invitational was held on Halloween added a bit of a seasonal punch to the field show. Competition began in the afternoon and ran through evening, and band members, as well as the audience, enjoyed a sunny and warm day.

 

The Barons performed their field show, “Bermuda Triangle,” which features original music composed by California marching band composer and arranger Key Poulan.

The Barons performed their field show, “Bermuda Triangle,” which features original music composed by California marching band composer and arranger Key Poulan.

 

Hosted, coordinated and staffed by the band boosters, it is traditionally held on the last Saturday of October and serves as a fundraiser to support the band. Band booster spokesperson Roger Dombach said that this year the boosters hoped to raise nearly $20,000 to fund the band’s bus transportation to Walt Disney World Resort. The band will perform in one of the Disney parades, and attend an educational seminar, between Christmas and New Year. He said that although the Cavalcade of Bands competition is the largest fundraiser hosted by the band boosters, it’s not the only one. The organization has also hosted a chicken barbecue.

As for the band competition itself, Dombach said that bands compete in one of five divisions based on the size of the band. They’re judged in three categories &tstr; skill, ensemble and overall. There are a total of six judges. The competition schedule begins in September, and the championships will be held in November.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

 

Competition began in the afternoon and ran through evening, and band members, as well as the audience, enjoyed a sunny and warm day.

Competition began in the afternoon and ran through evening, and band members, as well as the audience, enjoyed a sunny and warm day.

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