“Communication failure.” The drumline rolls into the first hit and then the audience is in for a ride. The Lebanon Tiger Pride Marching Band has worked for countless hours in baking sun to perfect their marching show titled “Communication Breakdown”.
This year’s competitive show was about where miscommunication and misunderstanding can lead, but also how this can be resolved. The first movement, “Schism”, is the argument. Dueling ideals erupts into full blown conflict as the band roars with crescendos, cymbal crashes, rim shots and trills. The brass mimics the code for “SOS” as the disagreement reaches its boiling point. The brass, woodwind and drumline confront each other with visual assistance from the Tigerettes. Transitioning into the second movement “Communication”. During this piece differing ideas start to come together and a dialogue is starting to develop to lead to resolution. The melody shifts between different instruments while two phrases are formed on the backdrop. The third and final movement, “Boundless”, begins with a phone ringing representing someone calling another person to right their wrongs. The tempo is incredibly upbeat and ends with the final phrase “Uplifting words always strengthen communication, respect and love”.
“Everyone deals with conflict in their lives and miscommunication can create a lot of that. With this show, like many shows we have done in the past, we use personal experiences to tell a story,” Mr. Alan Conrad.
The band’s director, Mr. Conrad, compared the storytelling in a marching show to creative writing. “You start off with a personal story and then add something else to it.”
The Tiger Pride added a new element to their show this year, electronics. In the past the marching band has used an electronic keyboard but never have they added electronic sampling. The Lebanon band is incredibly traditional in how they do their shows. If you were to ever go to a competition some other bands will have electronic sound but these mainly consist of voiceovers. The high school’s marching band went a different route however, using the sounds of Morris Code, inaudible arguments and dialing phones.
“I loved the addition of electronics into the show this year. It was not too much it just enough in terms of what we added. It was great that it was not a complete voiceover,” sophomore Kaitlyn Fleck said. Junior Anna Waggoner reiterated Fleck’s praises saying, “I felt that the electronics added to the story and it helped in the transitions from each movement”.
The school’s marching band competed at Muncie Central, Noblesville, state fair and ISSMA competitions over the summer and during the first few weeks of school. Placing 11th at Muncie, 10th at Noblesville and 16th during the Sweet 16 final at the Indiana state fair. This past weekend the band received a gold rating with distinction in both music and visuals at ISSMA, making this an exceptionally successful season for the group of young musicians.
“[After performing] knowing you did well and that you put smiles on at least a hundred people’s faces is what I liked about this year’s show,” sophomore Zach McDaniel.
The group was young this year with many underclassmen rookies joining the ranks.
Sophomore Zach McDaniel stated, “I felt that coming in as a rookie was easy and I never really worried because if I needed help, anyone would. It feels like home now”.
The senior class is quite large this year as well.
Senior Rocio Bautista was brought down memory lane with the show saying, “it combined all of the shows we have done from my freshman to junior years. We have done ‘dark’ shows and then an uplifting one last year. This combines both of those ideas and it’s a great way to end senior year”.
The Tiger Pride is not done yet! They will continue to perform a new show and supporting the LHS football team this fall during halftime and in the stands. The band and color guard will learn a whole new drill as well as new music and will put the show together in the weeks to come so make sure to check them out as well under the lights at home games alongside the football team this fall.
Photos Courtesy of: J.T. Smith Photography, Rocio Bautista, Anna Waggoner, Reagan Davis and Shelby Brown