Jonathan Alder band hits growth spurt

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Photo courtesy of Life Touch
 The Jonathan Alder High School marching band is 70 members strong this year. The group will perform four different shows over the course of the football season.

Jonathan Alder’s high school marching band is rocking half-time this football season – and with quite a few more musicians than last year.

The band’s ranks numbered about 55 in 2006. This year, their up to 70, plus four majorettes. Director Paul Brunner has taken full advantage of the creativity the larger band permits.

"Having more kids in the band allows us to construct more intricate (marching) designs and also produces a lot more sound out on the field," he said.

Brunner, now in his 11th year as band director at Jonathan Alder, credits the band’s positive development over the last several years with attracting more participants.

"We’ve had a lot of success, and the kids want to be a part of it. We’re very lucky. We also have a lot of support from our parent organizations and the community," he said.

The band will treat football spectators to four different half-time shows this season. The first one really puts the students’ skills to the test.

"The show has some of the hardest music I’ve ever selected for the group," Brunner said, explaining that he chose challenging arrangements of popular songs.

The first show’s tunes are "Dr. Feelgood" by Motley Crew, "Holiday" by Madonna," and "Layla" by Eric Clapton. "Holiday" features tuba players Andy Blum and Rob Fogelsong, along with the majorettes Carrie Bumgarner, Lindi Damron, Brooke Lawrence and Elisa Powers.

Jonathan Alder’s second show features more rock-n-roll: "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard, "Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones, and "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood. The last tune features the band’s alto saxophone section.

As tradition dictates, Brunner will select a special song for the third show to which the majorettes will twirl fire. The show also will include "Script Alder" as marched by a combined high school and eighth-grade band.

The final show of the seaon is the senior show, for which the senior students in the band will choose the music.

Thanks to the Music Boosters, the band entered the 2007 football season with added equipment, including a new sousaphone and new bass drums. To help raise more money, band members will hold a fruit sale again this year. They are taking orders throughout football season; product delivery will take place in December.

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