SHELDON — The Sheldon High School Marching Orabs didn’t get the score they wanted in their first competition of the season on Saturday September 18th.
Sheldon placed fourth of five in the Gold category at the Pursuit of Excellence Marching Band Festival in Marshall, MN.
“We knew we had a long way to go,” said Cliff St. Clair, director of instrumental music for Sheldon.
Twenty groups participated in the annual event with entries separated into classes based on members of Wind and Percussion: Gold, Crimson, Navy, Ivory and Platinum.
He said there had been no “glaring disaster” for the Marching Orabs, however, he said some of the band still needed to memorize their music.
“Everything is, of course, music based and when the students have the most confidence in the music then they can learn the exercise quickly, they can learn all the other responsibilities in terms of the visual program,” said St. Clear. .
“But when the music isn’t attached to memory, it makes everything else more difficult. So right now, I think that’s the highest priority.
Another setback for the group was due to the Color Guard being eight days late to rehearse their choreography during the group’s camp this summer.
“During the marching band camp, we have four hours of rehearsal and it allows them to learn a good part of our show before they even start school. Well this year was almost half of our camp time before school started so they’re still catching up because once we get into the school year we don’t didn’t even have quite two hours of rehearsal time, ”St. Clair said.
Although the summer rehearsals saw choreography delays, St. Clair praised the students’ willingness to practice even without their conductor being present at times.
He said that there were a few days before the start of the school year, he had to attend the high school teacher training days, which meant he was unable to lead the group’s rehearsals. When St. Clair said this to his band students, their response was that they would repeat the routine themselves on those days.
“It was really encouraging for me to see that they took this initiative,” said St. Clair.
The Marching Orabs’ competition routine is called “To Dream” and incorporates music revolving around the theme of dreams.
The performance opens with music from the 2000 film, “Requiem for a Dream”, then moves on to the Eurythmics song, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”, from the 1980s.
The second movement of the performance is a rendition of “A Million Dreams” from the 2017 musical film, “The Greatest Showman”.
The third movement of the routine is titled “What Are Dreams Made of,” which St. Clair says includes musical themes from the previous segments of the show. It also includes part of Stephen Foster’s 1860 song, “Beautiful Dreamer,” for approximately 12 bars.
“It’s not as much of a concrete story as the other years we’ve done our shows,” St. Clair said of the show.
The next Marching Orabs competition will take place on Saturday, September 25 at StarFest in Sioux City. Sheldon is expected to enter the pitch at 2:45 p.m. at Elwood Olsen Stadium.