The Arkadelphia High School Badger Pride Marching Band competed in the 2015 Arkansas Showcase of Bands at War Memorial Stadium on October 10. Their “Superhero” performance earned them 11 awards, including the Brandon Award for Overall Outstanding Band in Class 4A-5A.
Head Band Director Jim Lloyd and Assistant Band Directors Aaron Seel and Whitney Smith started preparing for the “Superhero” performance last October during the previous marching season.
“The three of us, Mr. Seel does all the percussion stuff and Mrs. Smith does all the color guard stuff, are a team,” said Lloyd. “We sit down, and sometimes we will throw out six or eight ideas for a show concept. We will talk about it with each other and say ‘go home and think about it and come back’. This one went on pretty easy.”
The band started summer rehearsals on July 26. For two weeks, they practiced in the stadium from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and returned after lunch from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. They rehearse each day during class, and during the school year, the public is invited to come watch their Tuesday night rehearsals during marching season in the stadium from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Lloyd explained the three major movements in the show, other than the very end when the band hits the Batman verses Superman symbols. At the end of the opener, the band forms the bat signal to the music from the original 1989 Batman movie by Danny Elfman. The second movement is from the Metropolis Symphony by Michael Daugherty called “Lex”. Seel took the violin solo from this movement and transcribed it specifically for the band’s percussion, which Lloyd described as the “hardest part”, but “very effective”. Red Cape Tango is the last major movement, which is also from Michael Daugherty’s Metropolis Symphony. This movement is about the death of Superman.
The Showcase of Bands began at 9:00 a.m. with 2A and 3A band performances in the morning. 4A and 5A bands were judged separately and performed in the afternoon after 2A and 3A awards were given. The Badger Pride Marching Band participated as a 5A band and was placed among the 20 bands in the 4A and 5A classification.
“We just wanted to do what we always do which is our very best,” Lloyd said. “I felt good about how the kids have prepared, especially over the past two weeks. We really, really worked hard over the past two weeks.”
After their performance, they were able to see all of their hard work pay off. The awards that the Badger Pride Marching Band received at the 2015 Arkansas Showcase of Bands are as follows:
- Division 1 Drum Major
- Division 1 Percussion
- Division 1 Colorguard
- Division 1 Band
- Outstanding Soloists in Class 5A (Rebecca Fellers and Mollie Daniell)
- Outstanding Percussion Class 5A
- Outstanding General Effect Class 5A
- Outstanding Marching Class 5A
- Outstanding Music Class 5A
- Outstanding Band Class 5A
- The Brandon Award for Overall Outstanding Band in Class 4A-5A
“It was a good feeling,” said Lloyd. “Mostly, I was just happy for the kids. I think a lot of their joy didn’t come from just the awards. It came from the crowd reaction to the big hits in the show. And this was an audience that was full of band students and band parents that was full of other competing bands. And they bought into it, and they were cheering. So that was a great feeling for our kids.”
The Badger Pride Marching Band will play in the Bandmaster’s Championship at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis on October 24. The following Tuesday, October 27, the band will perform in the Region Band Marching Contest. The last competition will be on October 31 at the Championship at the Rock Marching Contest, which is the prelims and finals competition. We would love for you and your family to come out and support the Badger Pride Marching Band!
Arkadelphia Public Schools serves more than 2,000 students in Clark County, Arkansas, ranging from 6-weeks-old through college- and career-readiness - and is home of the Arkadelphia Promise.
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