Preparing for the coming season’s marching band show often begins shortly after the state finals in November.
That was certainly the case for Concord Band Director Scott Spradling and his staff.
“In December we had the idea of revolution for our show,” Spradling said. “We didn’t know what we were going to do with it, we just really liked the idea of it.”
While researching one song stood out — “We Shall Overcome.”
“It’s a revolution of the human spirit,” Spradling said. “The human spirit has a tendency to want to do the right things and that’s where this idea for the show came from.”
Part of the production is also based on a quote by French-born author Anais Nin — “Then came the time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
From that quote emerges another show theme — the flower.
“We found that most countries name a peaceful revolution after a flower,” Spradling said. “The flower is representative of a good individual or group saying, ‘Just allow us to be ourselves and function in this world without being oppressed,’ ”
Rise — The Revolution Within has dual meaning, according to Spradling.
“The two themes are the rising up against oppression with a revolutionary or protest theme and the growth, or rising up of a flower,” Spradling said.
Honoring Rosa Parks
The music that fit the bill for the show turned out to be “A Movement for Rosa” by Mark Camphouse. The piece was commissioned in 1992 by the Florida Bandmasters Association to honor civil rights heroine Rosa Parks.
“We looked into the piece and found that it was on the Group I list for contest,” Spradling said. “We performed it last school year so we could get a better sense of the piece, whether or not it was something we wanted to pursue in the marching season.”
“It’s not a driving percussive kind of piece. It’s more based on beauty,” Spradling said. “There are moments of We Shall Overcome that are dissonant at the beginning. Then at the end it’s very harmonious and choral-like.”
Although Spradling has heard that the Marching Minutemen of the 1970s had more members than today’s band, this year’s total of 245 is the largest band in years.
“It’s great, but brings about challenges of its own,” Spradling said. “You have to mold them into a cohesive group.”
Concord graduated 50 seniors last season, but added 65 to 70 students to the band.
We lost a great senior class, but we brought in a great group of freshmen,” Spradling said. “And we have a very large senior class this year, over 60 students.”
Putting together Rise – The Revolution Within, Spradling said, may at first prove a daunting task.
“When it’s all said and done, however, it’s going to pay off,” Spradling said. “We (told) the students that we have to work really hard, especially in the short term. Then down the road we will get it quicker and then we’ll perform it better. I’m a little wary of it, but we are all excited about the possibilities.”
Name: “Rise – The Revolution Within”
Musical Selection: “A Movement for Rosa” by Mark Camphouse
Band Size: 245 (38 Color Guard)
Drum Majors: seniors Saris Huneryager and Andrew Daeger; juniors Megan Weitsock and Ben Davis
Soloist: senior Emma Nicoson, flute
Band Director: Scott Spradling
Staff: Steve Peterson, Bryan Golden, Cameron Bradley, assistant directors; Ben Runkel, percussion director; Stephanie Pairitz, guard director; Richard Saucedo, music arranger; Daniel Wiles, visual designer; Scott Preheim, technical engineer; Ruth Bowerman, music secretary.
Sept. 14 — Goshen Invitational
Sept. 21 — Hosting the 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)