Marching band prepares funk halftime show

Drum+majors+Evan+Sullivan+and+Zach+Yarbrough+conduct+the+De+Soto+High+School+marching+band+at+rehearsal+on+Aug.+26.

Rachael Hopkins

Drum majors Evan Sullivan and Zach Yarbrough conduct the De Soto High School marching band at rehearsal on Aug. 26.

Kelly Henning, News Editor

Every fall, the De Soto High School marching band prepares a themed show to perform at halftime of the football games and a marching band competition. This year’s theme is Tower of Power, a popular funk and jazz group from the 1970’s and 80’s.

The band performs three songs for their halftime show every year. This year’s songs are What Is Hip, So Very Hard To Go and Soul Vaccination. According to junior Drum Major Zach Yarbrough, this show is more difficult than last year’s.

“Last year the theme was Star Wars, so mostly everyone had a general idea of the way the songs should sound, but that’s not the case this year, so it’s definitely more difficult,” Yarbrough said.

Preparation for the 2016 marching show started well before school did, with the first day of band camp landing on Aug. 1. Despite the early start, the band has not completed a full run-through of the show.

“It took about two weeks to remind everyone how to march and get everyone to be able to play and march the first song,” Yarbrough said. “It should be a couple more weeks before we get the rest of the show down.”

Despite not having completed the show yet, the band is very excited to perform. Their favorite part of the show, according to Yarbrough is the first song. Band director Matt Bradford is looking forward to the dance moves that are to be incorporated into the show, as is Yarbrough, though he recognizes that it will be the most difficult part of building the show.

“The most difficult part of the show is going to be the incorporation of visuals and fun ideas that we’ve been accumulating over the summer, but I’m super excited,” Yarbrough said. “We’re still working on our visuals because we’re trying to create original ideas using no outside resources. The easy part is getting the band to march, the hard part is making your show something special.”

The band is also excited for the opportunity to compete with their show more than they usually do by attending three marching festivals this year, instead of just one. They will be attending the Baker University Marching Festival, of which they were the 2015 Grand Champions, the K-State Marching Band Festival and the KBA Marching Band Festival.

“It’s great that we’re going to more than one festival this year because it gives us more chances to get critiqued on our show and gives us more time with the band family,” Yarbrough said. “Every year we count down to [the Baker University Marching Band Festival] and now we just have more to be excited for.”