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Bands march into season at Show of Bands event

Friday, October 6, 2017

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Neighbors | Zack Shively .The drumline of the Austintown Fitch Marching Band demonstrated their skills with a solo performance.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively .Austintown Fitch Marching Band continued their tradition of using a military style in their appearance, marching style and song choice, finishing their show with U.S.'s national march, "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

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Neighbors | Zack Shively .Poland Seminary High School played third during the Show of the Bands. Their "Summer of Love" theme included "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, and "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys and a melody of other tunes from the 60s.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively .The Boardman Spartan Marching Band incorporated instrumentation from outside of the marching style during their presentation at Canfield's Show of Bands, such as an electric guitar, electric bass and a vocal performance. Pictured, the group played Van Halen's version of "You Really Got Me" as the band stood in the form of Van Halen's logo.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively .Boardman Spartan Marching Band set up a stage for their final series of songs celebrating Woodstock. Their melody of songs from the concert contained six different songs, including Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love" and Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" and closed with Joe Cocker's rendition of "With a Little Help from my Friends."

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Neighbors | Zack Shively .Canfield Marching Band opened Canfield High School's Show of the Bands on Aug. 29 with their alma mater, "Hang on Sloopy" and "The Star Spangled Banner."

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Canfield "Cardinal Pride" Marching Band finished the night with an entertaining "Dancetopia" themed show. They played dance hits, such as "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez and "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

Canfield High School hosted its annual Show of Bands on Aug. 29 to a packed Cardinal Stadium.

The night marked the 43rd year of Canfield’s Show of Bands. The performing bands were from the schools of Canfield, Struthers, West Branch, Poland, Champion, Austintown Fitch and Boardman.

The Canfield “Cardinal Pride“ marching band took the field at seven for the opening ceremony, where the band played their alma mater, “Hang on Sloopy,“ and “The Star Spangled Banner.“ They marched off the field and Struthers marched on shortly after.

Poland Seminary High School Marching Band performed third. They used a “Summer of Love” theme for the night, with songs such as “Good Vibrations“ by the Beach Boys and “White Rabbit“ by Jefferson Airplane. They opened with a combination of three songs, Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’,“ The Who’s “I Can See For Miles“ and the Turtles’s “Happy Together.“ The band marched into a peace symbol during these songs.

Outside of the theme, the band performed Demi Lovato’s “Confident.“ Band director Nick Olesko said that the band may head into a Disney oriented marching show by the middle of the football season.

The PSHS Marching Band has 132 members. Olesko made the decision to perform without a field commander because the songs they played did not change drastically enough to warrant needing field commanders. The band followed West Branch Marching Band and preceded Champion High School’s marching band.

Austintown Fitch marched onto the field after Champion High School’s set. The marching band continued their tradition of using a military style in their appearance, marching style and song choice. The group opened with John Williams’s “March of 1941“ before going into the stylistically different songs “Malague ±a” by Ernesto Lecuona and “Freebird“ by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The percussion stepped forward between the two tunes for the song “Max,“ which featured their section prominently. They closed their performance with the U.S.’s national march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever,“ which they have used to close their shows for more than 60 years.

Austintown Fitch’s band includes 150 members. The school hosted the 46th annual Austintown Fitch Band Night the night prior.

Band director Wesley O’Connor said of the other bands, “All of my colleagues do a fantastic job in their programs.“ He also stated, “Everyone leaves a band night a winner, there are no losers.”

The Boardman Spartan Marching Band proceeded Austintown Fitch. They played a number of popular radio songs, starting with three Van Halen hits, “You Really Got Me,“ “Eruption“ and “Jump.“ The band stood in the formation of the band’s “VH“ logo during these songs. A student jammed the guitar solo track, “Eruption,“ on his guitar on the sideline. The songs also featured an electric bass and electronic keyboard.

The Spartan band then moved to the more recent track “Uptown Funk“ by Bruno Mars, which featured the full marching band with musical additions from guitar, bass, keys and vocals. They followed this song with Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line.“

Band parents and helpers prepared a stage toward the end of the Belafonte tune. They used this stage for their big finish, a series of melodies from Woodstock. The band played along with the guitar, bass, keys and drum set on the sideline near the stage. During these songs, members of the band came out dressed as the singers of the bands and sang the parts.

The band played six songs from the festival, starting with “Going Up the Country“ by Canned Heat, then “Somebody to Love“ by Jefferson Airplane, “My Generation“ by The Who, “Piece of My Heart“ by Janis Joplin and “I Want to Take You Higher“ by Sly and the Family Stone, before finishing with Joe Cocker’s showstopping rendition of the Beatles tune, “With a Little Help From My Friends.“

Boardman’s band has 167 students, and are led by Thomas Ruggieri. They have played at the Show of Bands every year and host their own band night at Spartan Stadium.

Canfield’s marching band closed the night with a series of dance hits, a theme they dubbed “Dancetopia.“ They opened with C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat,“ followed by Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor.“ Next, they moved from the dance floor to the silver screen with “Adelieland“ by John Powell from the movie “Happy Feet.“

The band went back to a radio hit on the next track, “Shut Up and Dance“ by Walk the Moon. The band used a more interesting way to introduce the song rather than just announcing the song over the speakers. Director Michael Kelly and the band participated in a call and response conversation wherein he told them to shut up, and they yelled “and dance!“

They finished their set with a couple of dance staples from the 1920s. First, the band performed “Hoe-Down“ from Aaron Copland’s ballet, “Rodeo.“ Members of the sideline percussion and color guard danced the hoe-down while the band played. The group finished the night with “Malague ±a” by Ernesto Lecuona.

Canfield marches with 160 members. Kelly has the band learning other popular dance hits for their future performances. These tunes include the classic “Twist and Shout“ by the Isley Brothers and “HandClap“ by Fitz and the Tantrums.

Before Canfield went on, each band had their directors and band representatives come up in front of the crowd to receive a Show of Bands plaque and meet with the other bands’ representatives.

The night commemorated the bands’ hard work learning the music and drills over the summer and a demonstration of what to expect from each band throughout the football season as each band hopes to get better and sharper.