Marching band goes theatrical for upcoming contest

marching band

The Cedar Falls Tiger marching band takes the field for State Marching Band Festival this Saturday, Oct. 9 at Dubuque Senior. The band is directed by Kyle Engelhardt and Gerald Ramsey. The theme for this year is “A Salute to the Greatest Generation, World War II.”

Both directors selected this particular theme because they felt it was “a great way to perform music with lots of depth,” as Engelhardt said. “[It] gives the students a way to explore history.” He also added, “The kids have been working really hard and have really grasped the concept of the show.”

Ramsey said, “I’m excited to hear the band play outside in the stadium at Dubuque. They sound so much better outside compared to playing at the Dome when the sound echos and it doesn’t sound as crisp.”

Along with the musical performance planned, they have also incorporated theatrical effects such as professionally printed backdrops, three drum sets, and 48 custom, hand-made flags for the color guard. In fact, all the flags for this performance were made by Engelhardt’s mother-in-law.

The final song, “Swing, Swing, Swing,” appropriately features swing dancing by the color guard and theatrical boxes for dancing on. Senior drum major Louis Redfern said, “The end of ‘Swing, Swing, Swing’ is going to be incredible.”

Preparing for the show has been a fun experience for the band members. Sophomore Alex Redfern said, “I just love bonding with drum line and my snare section.”

The directors’ inspiration from the show came from drum corps shows and different concert band arrangements. The 152-member band has worked extremely hard so far this season in preparation for State. Last year, the band earned a Division I performance as a 4A high school marching band at the Festival.

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