Tag Archives: music

Following Highlander Band: Sun sets on SynchroniCITY at Bands of America Grand Nationals

Photo by Tori Ables

Story by Gracie Vanover

Last weekend was the biggest marching band competition in the nation, but the Highlander band did not shy away from chasing the gold. Bands of America [BOA] Grand Nationals hosted 91 bands this weekend before narrowing it down to 38 and then to 12. 

Overall the Highlander band placed 46 out of 91 and 5th in their class, which included bands like Columbus North High School. This was the first time in the band’s history attending BOA Grand Nationals. Knowing how well they scored, the band is hopeful for their future in Grand Nationals. 

“It was a really cool experience to be the first group to represent our band at a national level,” said sophomore trumpet player Reece Ausmus. “I’m glad we got the experience to go and hopefully over the next few years we will move up in the ranks.”

With this being the band’s last performance they felt confident in their show and abilities. 

“I felt great. I was just having fun and felt super confident,” said freshman bari sax player Kimmy Fraley. 

For the seniors this was their last run of the show, especially in a competing atmosphere.

“I really enjoyed the competition and it was fun to be able to compete on the national stage. With it being the largest competition in the nation it makes you look at competing differently, like how we’re able to say that we’re the 46th best marching band in the country is a pretty nice feeling,” said senior trumpet player Eli Moody. “It was a really fun way to end the season and I’m glad we took the opportunity to go to this competition.”

While the season may be at its end, band is only just starting. This weekend marks the start of pep band for both boys’ and girls’ basketball games. The band also has many concerts throughout the year so be sure to check their website for the dates. 

Highlander band website: www.floydcentralband.org

 

Melanie Martinez ends music hiatus with K-12

Art and story by: Scarlett Hatton

For years, many loyal fans have long-awaited Melanie Martinez’s return to the music industry. However, on Sept. 3, 2019, Martinez surprised her supporters with a 90-minute film that she directed and a studio album that she produced, ending their wait. K-12, the film, includes 13 of Martinez’s highly anticipated tracks from her newest album with dialogue in between. With aid from her unique style and artistic lyrics, the album landed number three on the U.S. Billboard 200, and the film has gained over 31 million views on YouTube. Despite this, her followers still wonder if K-12 was truly worth the wait.

 

The film takes a twisted take on a normal musical. It follows a headstrong, clever little girl named Crybaby [played by Martinez] and her supportive best friend, Angelita [played by Elita Harkov], as they are sent off to a foreboding sleepaway school with dictatorial leaders. The movie has an innocent, light aesthetic that adds to the creepy situation the characters are being put in. These contrasting manners of purity and brutality can be observed in many of Martinez’s older songs such as “Dollhouse.” The lyrics to this 2015 single include, “Throw on your dress and put on your doll faces. Everyone thinks that we’re perfect; please don’t let them look through the curtains.” 

Years later, Martinez carries forward this message of hiding pain behind beauty and innocence. K-12 continues this tone throughout the entire film as Crybaby quite literally tears her evil principal apart while wearing her bright, pink dress. While this might be too dark for some viewers, others appreciate this artful approach to portray insanity and to illustrate the inhumanity of modern school systems.

 

Nearly every Melanie Martinez song confronts a problem in society. While her lyrics do an excellent job of portraying these issues, the film was so important to help tackle them head-on and show real-life examples that her audience can relate to. This album alone exhibits the effects of a negative body image, eating disorders, bullying, gender roles, fake friends, and many other serious topics. The song “Orange Juice” is about a girl with bulimia learning to accept herself. A lyric says, “Your body is imperfectly perfect. Everyone wants what the other one’s working.” This message is absolutely necessary for young people to hear given the growing mental health issues faced in society.

 

Martinez is also completely vulnerable in the song “Show and Tell.” While it is unclear if the song was written about her personal life, specifically, it can be assumed the message of the song is very close to her. The lyrics say, “Buy and sell, like I’m a product to society.” In the film, Crybaby was trapped inside of the school. She felt like she was being controlled by power-hungry villains. The principal made her feel worthless with his unjust rules and she would do whatever it took to get herself out. She said, “Pretending everything’s alright is detention.” Martinez made K-12 to share this message to her audience. Aside from the magic, singing, and dancing, the film was very realistic to modern society in some form or another. Martinez’s ability to connect with these real-life situations through art is definitely one of her biggest strengths.

 

After taking a three-year hiatus, high expectations were set for Martinez’s album. It is hard to deny the visual appeal of the film and the beautiful message that it portrayed. However, there were some problems with the film that needs to be addressed. There were so many different subplots that each felt incomplete and lacked a true value to the overall theme. This made the main plot harder to follow and understand. At times it seemed as if it has been just 13 music videos strung together without any order. Furthermore, the dialogue between songs felt weak and messy at times. Instead of connecting the songs together, the remarks just seemed to be there to fill up time. It is a shame that the plot could not live up to the beautiful costumes and amazing albums that Martinez is known for.

 

K-12 continues to expand Martinez’s audience and break music records. It is clear that so much well-spent time, money, and production went into making the film possible. Ultimately, Martinez made the film available on many different platforms for free which was such an admirable thing to do, especially if she was trying to spread awareness and positivity. As Crybaby said in the film, “Everyone is worthy of love.”

 

Tracklist:

Wheels on the Bus

Class Fight

The Principal

Show & Tell

Nurse’s Office

Drama Club

Strawberry Shortcake 

Lunchbox Friends

Orange Juice 

Detention 

Teacher’s Pet

High School Sweethearts 

Recess

 

Visuals: A+

Plot: B-

Acting: A-

Production: A+

Vocals: A+

Songwriting: A

Overall: A-

 

K-12 the film: https://youtu.be/2HtaIvb61Uk

 

Following Highlander Band: SynchroniCITY stopped short in Greenwood

Photo by Presley Vanover

Story by Gracie Vanover

This past weekend was one of the toughest marching band competitions in the nation right here in Indiana. ISSMA Regional competition at Center Grove High School in Greenwood had some of the top names like Avon and Carmel. With only 10 bands moving from this regional to semi-state, the Highlanders were in for a long night.

The band placed 11th this weekend, barely missing the chance of being in the top 10 for semi-state. However, the night was not a rough one at all. 

“I felt happy. I was excited to be back and I felt really good about how we were going to perform,” said sophomore pit member Lupe Rufing. “When we got done play I felt really good because I played so well and we sounded really good.”

Many members of the band and guard felt this was the best performance for the group to date.

“I think our performance was the best one yet. The features , solos, and notes we normally splat on were the best they have ever been,” said junior tuba player Bailey Durrett. 

With every performance there are hardships members have to face whether it be injury or the competition itself.

“I was also nervous because I knew that there [were] five national championship schools there,” said Rufing. “[But] I was glad to show everyone how good we are because we practice really hard and work together to make a good performance.”

Although band members are sad about not advancing they are ready for next season and are okay with their results.

“I’m sad we didn’t advance but I know we did the best we could have done and that the placements between all the bands were fair and we got what we deserved,” said Durrett. “Since we were so close to making it in I’m excited to see how we will do next year because we just keep getting better [each season].

The band will be performing the show two more times even without semi-state and state competition. To follow the band and find their schedules go to their website: www.floydcentralband.org. Be sure to catch them one more time before the season’s end at Bands of America Grand National Championships on Nov. 14. 

 

Following Highlander Band: Highlanders scramble through ISSMA invitational

Photo by Kate Zuverink

Story by Gracie Vanover

Last week, not only did the Highlander Band endure their second band camp, but they came home with a gold with distinction rating at ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association)’s Open Class Invitational. 

In overall ranking the band placed second with a score of 76.3 and beat Castle’s Marching Knights in individual music and almost tied with them for overall music. This was also the first public viewing of the entire show, which was completed last Friday. 

“I am extremely happy and excited about our scores. With the end of the show being so new to us, I did not expect our scores to be good but I was pleasantly surprised,” said senior baritone and trombone player Lindy Lawrence. “I expected to get second but not to be anywhere close to Castle. This gives me a lot of hope for [this] week’s competition, and that we can move on to semi-state.”

Although the band started learning the finale to their show two days before their performance they still did the best they could. 

“I felt that there is a need for more run through of the fourth movement, especially the ending charts as we didn’t have as much preparation time as we had for the rest of the show,” said junior trumpet player Brendan Sturgeon. 

After this past weekend the Highlanders are ready to kick it into high gear for regionals this weekend. 

“I feel like we have a good chance of making it to semi-state,” said sophomore guard member Rebecca Moody. “I also feel like our band is ready for this challenge because one band gets sent home and we don’t want it to be us. I [think] our hours of rehearsal have really been showing and [we’ve] got this.”

As ISSMA Regionals approaches rapidly the seniors also prepare for their last shot at state. 

“At the moment I feel nervous about regionals, but we got a good score at the ISSMA contest in Jasper so I’m holding out hope that we make it to semi-state,” said senior flute player Lainey Noles. “The thought of it being the seniors last chance at state makes me upset, but at the same time more determined to do our best.”

The band only has a few more weeks of the marching band season so be sure to catch them at their remaining performances. Regionals this weekend will be at Center Grove High School in Greenwood. To find the schedule for the band go to their website: http://www.floydcentralband.org

Following Highlander Band: Band scurries through Cardinal Stadium

Photo by Sophia Perigo 

Story by Gracie Vanover

As the mid-day sun floats above the Cardinal Stadium the band prepares their skyscraper and subway props. The band warms up and positions themselves to their dot ready to start a new day in the big city.

This weekend, The Highlanders traveled just across the bridge to perform for the Bands of America [BOA] Louisville Regional. The band placed 9 in their class and 17 out of 28 bands, but many were not disappointed. 

“Even though we didn’t make finals, I still feel like it was [a] great performance. Going into BOA I was definitely feeling a little nervous since we hadn’t got to spin equipment that morning for the run through and only really got to do opening dance full out,” said junior guard member Arianna Lamb. “But, once we got through warmup and were walking to the performance gate I could tell it was going to be a good show just by all the positive energy the band was putting off going into the performance.”

With the competition being smaller than normal at BOA many held their heads high 

with hope.

“I felt like we had more hope in making it into finals,” said sophomore pit member Allison Farber.  “But I do miss the bigger competition because I [would have] felt better about not making it in.”

Although their competition seemed easier, the show had many working parts added during after school rehearsals which proved to be a challenge for some.

“I love the preshow. While it is a cliché song, I think it is good to have it as the opening of the show because it symbolizes the morning,” said senior baritone player Lindy Lawerence. “[Percussion staff member] Dave Isaacs did a great job at making it and the transition to the loud alarm that wakes the band and the audience up. The tarps are good too. They add more theming to the show. They have worked well so far for me, but I do know they have caused some people to trip during the few times we have used them. I since they aren’t taped to the ground, I worry that they may cause problems during a show if there is wind.”

While the band attends competitions every weekend, BOA is quite different from the usual two-hour drive to regular invitationals.

“BOA competitions are some of my favorite competitions because they’re not anything 

like a regular competition is. With BOA competitions you get to see bands from all around the United States instead of just seeing our typical competitors that are from Kentucky and Indiana,” said Lamb. 

This weekend the band will be hosting the 

29th annual Floyd Central Invitational. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults at the gate. Shows will begin at 3  p.m. Be sure to come out to support the Highlander Band as they perform in exhibition. To find the schedule for the band go to their website: www.floydcentralband.org.