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Bob Jones Band wins overall in Hendersonville

Section leaders, drum majors, color guard members and instrumentalists in Bob Jones High Band receive their cache of awards in Hendersonville, Tenn. (CONTRIBUTED)
Section leaders, drum majors, color guard members and instrumentalists in Bob Jones High Band receive their cache of awards in Hendersonville, Tenn. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Opening its 2015 competition season, Bob Jones High School Marching Band triumphantly claimed accolades at the Hendersonville Golden Invitational at Hendersonville (Tenn.) High School.

Bob Jones won “Best in Class” for percussion and horn lines; “Best in Class” band; “Best Band,” large-school division; “Best Overall,” percussion and horn lines; and “Overall Grand Champion” among 22 competing bands.

“We were the only band from Alabama,” Bob Jones Director of Bands Leigh Thomas said. Kevin Smart is assistant director.

Bob Jones has 190 students in the football marching band; 144 of those students compose the competition band. Instrumentation includes 41 woodwinds, 40 brass and 41 percussion, along with 20 color guard and 3 drum majors.

Their 2015 show, “Bridging the Gap,” finds connections between the divide in classical and modern/pop music worlds. Their program “highlights the inherent joy that everyone feels when they listen to music,” Thomas said.

Movement 1 features Mozart’s “Eine Kliene Nachtmusik” in various musical styles, including hip-hop and jazz. Movement 2 is a battle between Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” “again trying to ‘bridge the gap’ between two seemingly unrelated songs,” Thomas said.

Movement 3 begins with Barber’s ballad “Adagio for Strings” and progresses to blend Sia’s “Chandelier,” a 2014 chart-topper. “Coincidentally, these two are written in the same key and use much of the same chord structure, although written nearly 80 year apart,” Thomas said.

All three movements use quotes from composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein’s “Young People’s Concert Series” from the 1960s with definitions of music in general and the classical genre.

Soloists are alto saxophonist David Gereski, “Eine Kliene Nachtmusik”; clarinetist Anna Flowers, “Rhapsody in Blue”; and trombonist Aurora Russell, “Chandelier.”

Requiring immense concentration and individual responsibility, “Bridging the Gap” demands constant movement. Even when standing still, band members exert synchronized, complex body movements. In the opener, a move involves lines of the block meshing into one ‘diamond.’ If one person is off, the formation can falter.

All Madison bands will perform at “March on Madison” on Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the stadium.

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