High school bands tuning up shows
Russellville residents who live near the city schools are well-aware the start of a new school year is just around the corner since they can no doubt hear the sounds of the Russellville High School Marching Hundred preparing for another season.
RHS Band Director Gary McNutt said the Marching Hundred conducted their annual rookie, percussion and auxiliary camps this past week and will have full-band camp starting Monday.
McNutt, along with assistant band director Jeremy Willis and instructional music aide Scott Stephenson, have been working with the rookie band members to teach basic marching skills before they learn their sets next week.
“We have also been working on the opener for our show during our music camps in the evenings,” McNutt said. “This year’s show will be special because we’re focusing on the 10th anniversary of September 11 and we’re planning to have a New York theme that will tie in with 9-11.”
McNutt said the show will feature songs like the popular “New York, New York,” as sung by Liza Minelli, “On Broadway,” music from “On the Town,” and the hit song from popular R&B singer Alicia Keys called “Empire State of Mind.”
“We’re planning to take the tribute up to 8:46 a.m. the morning of September 11 when the first tower was hit,” McNutt said. “We’ll do a tribute to those lost in the attack that will involve some of the firemen and policemen and we’ll hopefully end the show with fireworks at our home games.”
McNutt said they wanted to tie in the show’s theme with the history lessons in school so the students will really understand the meaning of what happened that day.
“We don’t ever want these kids to forget what happened to our country on September 11,” McNutt said.
The 50 wind instrument players, 20 drummers, 14 dance line members, 12 colorguard members and four majorettes will battle the sticky Alabama heat to make sure this coming year’s show is as close to perfect as it can get.
“Perfection is one of the ‘Four P’s’ I teach our kids: professionalism, pride, performance and perfection. We’re never completely perfect but that’s what we strive for,” McNutt said. “Our program has a standard of excellence and I remind them what the alumni of this program and the community expect and we encourage them to always do their best.
“We think this year’s show is going to be something special and something the community will enjoy.”