Marching with PridePublished 12:05pm Friday, July 27, 2012
From his perch overlooking the Benjamin Russell High School practice field, band director Dale Bloodworth has led 13 groups of musicians and directed 13 different halftime shows.
All this week and last, the Pride marching band has been hard at work transforming Bloodworth’s 14th show from a concept and idea into an 8-minute choreographed musical performance.
This year’s theme is a collection of tunes from a myriad of musical genres strung together with the theme “Once in a Blue Moon.”
“We try not to get ourselves stuck in a rut where we are doing just a rock and roll show,” Bloodworth said.
Last year’s show featured rock hits from The Who, Queen and The Rolling Stones.
This year’s show started with one tune and grew from there, Bloodworth said.
“I really wanted to do the tune Moondance – I really wanted to write it and had a good idea for it,” Bloodworth said. “Then we started thinking about the music we could put around it.”
The show also features Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Webber’s Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The show then explores some rock tunes, playing Ozzy Osbourne’s Bark at the Moon, Metallica’s Enter Sandman and Dream Theater’s Under a Glass Moon.
“It’s an exciting show with an enormous amount of diversity in the music, and we are getting done in 8 minutes,” Bloodworth said. “We want the crowd to be able to walk away whistling a tune – we don’t want to alienate our audience. If we did ten minutes of Beethoven, the concession stand would be doing a banging business but we wouldn’t have an audience.”
Bloodworth said he is excited about this year’s show. A few years ago, Alexander City Middle School went through a band director change, and Bloodworth said they are starting to develop some momentum again as a program.
“Mike Muncher (assistant band director) and I work well together from instruction to the creative aspect of what we do,” Bloodworth said. “It just seems everything isn’t starting to roll in the right direction.”
Bloodworth said this year’s group of musicians have impressed him.
“Our senior leadership is solid,” Bloodworth said. “It has been downright hot outside, but they haven’t wined and they aren’t treating it as a chore.”
Bloodworth said this speaks to the cohesiveness of the band.
“They really love each other,” Bloodworth said. “Sure, they are some that don’t get along – they are teenagers. But as a group, they love what they are doing. They really feel like they belong to this organization.”