Jessie and I hit the Ray South football game last night specifically for Sarah and the band. As in, the award-winning RSHS Southern Regiment marching band, which is recently home from Clarinda, IA last weekend. There they were the top-ranked corps out of 53 entries.
After a big entrance, the first half included solid tunes and standard game-time rhythms from the band’s space behind the south end zone. I remarked to Jessie that I wished they were closer; in the stands next to us in the student section, perhaps. There was enough space, and last night in the chill it wouldn’t have hurt anyone to stand a little closer.
The full halftime marching show included several tunes from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Marching with verve, the Southern Regiment was under the direction of their Senior Major (with the help of Junior and Sophomore majors); the band director was nowhere in sight (impressive!). Special moves included a Dixieland breakdown with a small New Orleans-style jazz combo in the center of the field, the Major’s various salutes coupled with an extended kneel-down/stand-up ending move, and just prior to the end the whole band kicking Broadway-style straight up the field towards us. It was a stylish, colorful show; it had personality.
Though it was the least formal part of the “show” (or maybe not part of the show at all), the best moment came early in the 4th quarter. After taking the 3rd off, the band reassembled in their end zone bleachers for the end of the game. The tuba section started up a little descending bass riff, the drums rocked a mellow beat, and the rest of the band started dancing. This dance is a low, quad-busting dance done with a wide stance, bouncing inches from the ground with arms outstretched. I’ve done similar things during the quietest parts of the breakdown to “(You Know You Make Me Wanna) Shout!”, or dancing borborbor in Ghana. But it was entirely spontaneous, done for its own joy; the Southern Regiment clearly loves being a band, and loves each other.