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Shallotte—For the nearly 75 members of the West Brunswick High School marching band, music is a way of life.
Whether it’s after-school band practices, rehearsals for competitions, half-time shows, pep rallies, weekend competitions, parades and more, this group of musicians stays busy.
This year the WBHS marching band has put a different spin on music-making. For the first time since band director Jason Seip has been at WBHS, the band has blended contemporary music with classical.
The marching band’s theme this year is a rock show.
“It’s the first time we have done something like this in the nine years that I have been here,” Seip said. “We have had a great response from the students performing it and from the audience.”
The WBHS marching band halftime performance begins with an opener of the “Rocky” Theme song “Gonna Fly Now.” The show continues with Aerosmith’s “Dream On” and concludes with Lynard Skynard’s “Freebird.”
Seip selected the arrangements in collaboration with his upper-class students last spring.
“We decided they sounded really good together,” Seip said.
The WBHS marching band is no stranger to competition and typically competes at least three times a year.
Saturday, Oct. 6, marked the band’s first competition of the season. The band brought home five trophies for marching, music, flags, drum line and drum major. The competition was in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“We did great. Every student had the best performance they could do. We had a great showing,” Seip said. “The audience loved our show and the music selections.”
On Oct. 20 the marching band will compete at Cape Fear High School. On Nov. 3, the band will compete in Loris, S.C., at Loris High School.
“We won grand champion at few years ago in Loris. We consistently do well in that competition,” Seip said.
A quick glance around the WBHS band room and you can’t help but notice that the band has done more than OK in competitions during the last few years. There are numerous trophies lining the room.
“We prepare all season with the music, marching drills and flags. It keeps them challenged through the last day of the season,” Seip said.
When marching band season is over, students don’t stop performing. They change gears and prepare for concert band. Students continue to participate in such events as the Shallotte Christmas parade as the marching band, but they also hone their concert skills. Each year the WBHS concert band performs a free holiday concert for the community.
Mark your calendars now for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18. The concert will be at the Odell Williamson Auditorium on the Brunswick Community College campus
“It is our gift to the community,” Seip said.
Rachel Johnsonis a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com.