Jonathan Alder band expands by 20 musicians

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick

Senior members of Jonathan Alder High School’s marching band are: (front row, from left) Elisabeth Powers, Mike Hill, Jimi Carlson, Jon Rouse; (second row) Carrie Bumgarner, Eliza Graber, Hayley McSurley, Heather Pettry, Brooke Edwards, Brooke Lawrence; (third row) Megan Renner, Laurel Hughes-Buckley, Caryn Weeks, Kaitlyn Shultz, Robert Clifton; (back row) Sarah Needham, Brianne Kimm, David Booth, Rob Fogelsong and Benjamin Becker.

Jonathan Alder football fans will be treated to a new half-time show at every home game this season. At one game, even the musicians on the field will be new.

On Sept. 19, the Jonathan Alder marching band will welcome the Ohio State School for the Blind’s marching band as guests. The 16 musicians, who march with assistants, will perform two numbers. Jonathan Alder will perform the third.

“I saw a story on them on TV last year and got the idea to invite them here,” said Jonathan Alder’s band director, Paul Brunner.

“They don’t have a lot of chances to perform. I wanted to give them an opportunity to do what our kids do on a regular basis,” he said.

Prior to the visit from the School for the Blind band, Jonathan Alder will have performed a show featuring the music of rock band Bon Jovi. The Aug. 29 show’s song line-up includes: “Living on a Prayer;” “Wanted Dead or Alive” with trumpet solos by seniors Eliza Graber, Heather Pettry and Megan Renner; and “You Give Love a Bad Name” during which the band forms a heart that they then break.

The Sept. 12 show is all about guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. The songs for the night are “Fire,” “Purple Haze” and “All Along the Watch Tower.”

For the homecoming game on Sept. 26, the eighth-grade band will join their high school counterparts to perform “Script Alder.” Tradition also dictates that the majorettes will twirl fire.

On Oct. 17, the Pioneers will go the southern rock route with “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels Band, and “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. The final show of the season, set for Oct. 24, will feature songs selected by the band’s seniors.

After the season, Brunner has a treat for his 85-member marching band and five majorettes. They will travel to the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31 in Atlanta, Ga.

“I wanted to give the students an opportunity to see two college bands and what it’s like to perform in front of 80,000 people in a dome,” Brunner said. “It will give them a taste of what the next level is like.”

This year’s Jonathan Alder marching band is larger than last year’s by about 20 musicians, he added.

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