Friday night more than 200 of Waxahachie’s finest musicians played in Lumpkin Stadium. The occasion was meet the Spirit of Waxahachie Indian Band Night and included a preview of this year’s UIL competition show, as well as an ice cream social.
“This show was not designed for this stadium, it was designed to be played in the Alamo Dome in San Antonio where this year’s State UIL marching contest will be held. It’s our goal to be in San Antonio on Nov. 5 and perform in the UIL State Marching Band competition,” said Rich Armstrong, WISD director of bands.
“This year’s program is titled ‘Mystic Hollow.’ It is made up of five dynamic acts. The idea behind ‘Mystic Hollow’ is that each act is a scene you might come across in a mysterious enchanted forest,” Armstrong said.
The show begins with “The Mist.” This scene features an ominous opening statement in performed by the front ensemble and woodwinds while the color guard takes the roll of the roiling mist streaming out of the forest. Mystic trumpet and full band fanfares drive the mist out of the forest.
Friday night’s preview performance included the score from this year’s competition show.
“We will have props of 11 large trees and flowers throughout the set to add color and dimension to the show,” Armstrong said.
Act II, titled “The Nymphs,” is as playful and mischievous as the spirited creatures of myth. It features a brass section and a trumpet duet as the woodwinds perform a display of music brilliance and frivolity.
The closing of Act II brings in the Ogre that adds a darker dimension to the forest. The low brass is highlighted heavily in the movement, in addition to the color guard and other cast members.
“Serenity” is the scene for Act IV. This scene takes the audience to a sunny meadow just outside the forest where butterflies float through a gentle breeze. This movement begins with a flute solo and a brass chorale with a flute and oboe closing the scene.
The final movement is “Woodland Jubilation,” a celebration of musical virtuosity and color.
“All the sections are brilliantly displayed making a stunning closing to our 2013 contest show,” Armstrong said.
The music and the scenes were a collaboration of the department’s staff.
“We have an amazing variety of talent and visions that went into the creation of this year’s show. The band has been working on the show for the past two weeks during summer camp. This group has put in a great amount of work. The rehearsals have gone well. There is a lot of energy and dedication in this group,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong attributes the dedication and work ethic from the leadership of previous years. “They helped instill the level of discipline that these kids embrace,” Armstrong said.
This year the band will be led on the field by co-drum majors Cory Simmel and Caleb Neal.
“These guys are amazing musicians. They are passionate about their job and provide a strong level of leadership to the group,” Armstrong added.
The band is working towards its sixth state appearance in the Texas UIL Marching competition, which takes place every other year. They have made five previous appearances under Armstrong’s direction as director of the Waxahachie band program.
During Friday’s “Meet the Band” event, Armstrong also introduced the audience to two Waxahachie football traditions. The first was the first down cheer.
“We need your help,” Armstrong said, as the band played, ending the cheer by pointing towards the goal post.
The next audience participation event was the playing of “Warpath.” Again, the audience was encouraged to join in with the cheer.
The program closed with the eighth grade band joining in with the varsity marching band for the Indian Spell Out.
During his closing comments, Armstrong thanked the band boosters for their work and help with the program.
“We have a group of band boosters that make our progress highly successful. We not only want to be the best in Texas, we want to be the best band in the nation,” Armstrong said.
The band will give its second performance of the season during Meet the Indian Night at the stadium.