‘The Pride of Big Walnut’ returning to State Sunday in Dayton
The 128-member “Pride of Big Walnut” Golden Eagle Marching Band qualified for Ohio Music Education Association State Marching Band Finals when they received an overall Superior rating at the Maysville Parade of Bands on Saturday, October 13.
Band director Craig Porter said this is the second consecutive year that the band has qualified for State; and he’s excited about making a return trip to State Finals.
“We’ve had a very good season and I’m happy for the students that they earned the right to represent the Big Walnut community at State again,” Porter said. “Qualifying for state competition is not an easy thing to do, but we’ve got a great staff that has worked hard to help the kids excel this year.”
Porter noted that the Big Walnut music department staff is much smaller than the staffs of bands similar in size.
“Most bands that we compete against or that we share halftime with at football games have many more staff members working with them than we do,” Porter said. “That means that our kids have to take a lot of ownership of their competition show and find things to correct that we may not see or hear as a staff.”
Music staff members include Assistant Band Director Lisa Huston, Color Guard Instructor Daisy Duhl and Percussion Instructor Chris May.
Besides qualifying for State at the Maysville event, the band also earned Second Place in Class A competition.
Earlier in the season the band competed at the Licking Heights Pageant of Bands on September 8, earning an Excellent rating, Second Place in Class A competition and Best Overall Percussion in Class A.
The band competed at the Tri-Valley Classic on October 20, but results were not available at press time.
This year’s competition show theme is music from the Disney musical Tarzan, which was written by Phil Collins. Porter said the Tarzan theme opened up possibilities for special effects both musically and visually.
“Our color guard competition uniforms are very unique to our show theme as well as some of the props they are using”, said color guard instructor Daisy Duhl. “We’ve had a great time coming up with fun ideas for the show.”
Porter said the music department also teamed up with the BWHS Art Department to create a unique prop for use in the show.
“We approached art teacher Melissa Maxson and her students for coming up with a Tarzan prop,” said assistant band director Lisa Huston. “The art staff and students created an incredible backdrop for us. We are so appreciative of their help.”
“The Pride of Big Walnut” will compete at the OMEA State Marching Band Finals at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 28, at Dayton Welcome Stadium.