By JENNIFER MEIER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — Expect a whole different band out on the field this marching season.
Not that last year’s Marching Pride of Fairfield didn’t do well — they placed third at ISSMA Semi-State and seventh at State Finals.
“If there’s one word I want to describe Fairfield, it’s chameleon,” said Band Director Andrew Muth. “You never know what Fairfield is going to do.”
Last year’s show, “One” with its positive message contrasts dramatically with this year’s production, “Everyone Has a Dark Side.”
“Nobody is going to look at this show and say, ‘That’s 2012 — just a little different,’ ” Muth said. “This show is completely different and it’s going in a completely new direction.”
Choosing this direction was a long process for Muth and his staff.
“We went through about five different shows to get to this one,” Muth said. “We started with the idea of Alice in Wonderland. Then we decided to take it more in a Jekyll and Hyde direction. Then we said, ‘Let’s go even further with everyone has a dark side.’ ”
The featured music, selections from Symphony No. 1 and Medea’s Dance of Vengeance, both by Samuel Barber, are two of Muth’s favorite orchestral pieces.
“They just conjure up this idea of an aggressive driving nature that the music just naturally inspires,” Muth said. “Everyone has good and bad inside them and every choice leads us down the road to either being a good or bad person.”
This year’s theme revolves around the central character’s journey to decide whether she’s going to let the darkness take over or let the light prevail, said Muth.
Muth believes the group is up to tackling this difficult show.
“Last year’s show was right for them and this year’s show is right for this group. This is a physically exhausting show. We are running around playing in-your-face music,” Muth said. “Our goal at the end is to have given it everything we’ve got.”
It’s all about making every moment bigger, he said.
“Everything we do, we are emptying the tank,” Muth said. “If we have four minutes of rehearsal left, then we are giving every ounce of energy we have until there is nothing left.”
Fairfield graduated 11 seniors last year and took on 15 freshmen.
“We recouped that loss and we are back to a nice size,” Muth said. “Our program continues to grow and we can attribute that to our support staff. Our awesome guard and percussion staff really inspires the kids to be here and do well.”
While many local marching programs choose seniors to fill the drum major position, the Fairfield staff chose sophomore Kyle Johns to lead the band on the field.
“One of the best things I’ve heard about being a leader is that you’ve got to be a servant before you can lead,” Muth said. “And you’ve got to be willing to do everything that you would ask someone else to do. And we found someone in whom that quality exists.”