Goshen News, Goshen, IN

August 28, 2013

MARCHING BAND PREVIEW: Video game music the focal point of Northridge show


MIDDLEBURY — There’s no denying the power video games can have over teenagers. But while some marvel at the graphics, others take note of the music.

“What’s great about video game music is that it’s written to accompany visual,” said Northridge Band Director Brad Zook. “So it transfers really well to marching.”

This year’s Raider Band marching show is titled, “Absolute Power” and features music inspired by video games, including Halo and Zelda.

It’s music that has the 141-member band and color guard energized.

“The kids are totally digging this music,” said Assistant Director Drew Miller. “They are very, very excited about it.”

Miller calls this show “another brain child of Brad Zook.”

“Brad arranges the music and writes his own drill,” Miller said. “And that is fairly uncommon because of the time commitment. It is very impressive that he does all the work and comes out with a quality product every time.”

Northridge was awarded sixth place at the ISSMA State Finals last year, the best placing in the history of the band in Class B.

Helping reach that goal last season was a talented senior class.

“It was a little scary coming into this season,” Miller said. “We lost a really great senior class, one of the strongest to come through in a long time. But we were very pleasantly surprised at how quickly the freshmen picked up the things they needed to know. And the seniors this year have really stepped up their game.”

Miller feels the band is very comparable to last year’s talented ensemble.

“We are a larger band this year with 10 or 12 more students,” he said. “And we’ve got a really big low brass section, so you will hear a lot of sound coming from them.”

Miller is pleased with the progress so far this year.

“The movement — the marching — is going very well, especially for the freshmen,” Miller said. “For a lot of them it is really hard to tell that they haven’t done this before.”

Zook agrees that the band is on schedule.

“Marching-wise, especially, they are not having any problems,” Zook said. “That aspect is really very, very good. We are not really behind in the music; it’s just that the marching is going so well.”

That’s good news for a show that got off the ground a little late this year.

“The idea for the show came very late this year,” Zook said. “Usually we start in late December and we didn’t have the show until late March. But it doesn’t seem to matter. It has turned out very well.”

The Show

Name: “Absolute Power”

Musical Selection: Video game music inspired by Halo and Zelda

Band Size: 141 (27 Color Guard)

Drum Major: senior Michelle Jones

Soloist: senior Laura Dickey, trumpet

Band Director: Brad Zook

Staff: Bryce Cone and Drew Miller, directors; Brittany Smith, Ashley Urdaneta, Jessica Smith, color guard; Micah Detweiler, Christian Good, percussion; Mitchell Alexander, brass; Chris French, woodwinds.

The Schedule

(Class B)

Sept. 14 — Goshen Invitational

Sept. 21 — Concord Invitational

Sept. 28 — Penn Invitational

Oct. 12  — Elkhart Memorial Invitational

Oct. 19 — ISSMA Regional at Chesterton

Oct. 26  — ISSMA Semi-State at Ben Davis (Indianapolis)

Nov. 2 — ISSMA State at Lucas Oil (Indianapolis)