Although there are still remaining days in summer break for Russellville High School students, a select group of students are already at the school, working toward a goal. Summer break is over for the Russellville High School Marching Panthers. Band camp is in full swing. This year, there are fifty members of the band comprised of ten colorguard, 11 percussion, and 29 students marching and playing instruments.
For those not familiar, marching band begins early, before the school year begins, and doesn’t end until October for those who earn a trip to the State Marching Band Competition. These grueling days during the hottest part of the year are essential to teaching the new members fundamentals and preparing the “show” that the band will constantly improve upon throughout the season. The members work on the chosen music or routine, learn their sets or coordinates on the field, and must put the music and sets together… to produce the show for the entertainment of the audience and scrutiny of the judges.
Said Brian E. Brown, Director of the Russellville High School Band Program, “So far things are going great. The students have been engaging and focused. I’m very excited about the potential of this group to put on a unique and exciting show. This year’s show is different from anything that we’ve done before. It is a dark show entitled “The Twilight Zone”. It takes place in the 1930’s and tells the story of a couple that enter a strange hotel. However, they become separated and strange things begin to happen.”
It is a lot of mental and physical work and not for the faint of heart. One must memorize pages and pages of music and coordinate and put it all together, under pressure. The Marching Panthers have shown over and over that they are up for the challenges put before them. Though they work on a small budget, the hearts of the students are big.