(Posted Nov. 1, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
They’ve strutted their musical stuff at King’s Island, the Circleville Pumpkin Show, and Ohio University Band Day in Athens. Now, they’re taking their talents across state lines.
Southeastern High School’s marching band is performing and sightseeing in one of the country’s music hotbeds–Nashville, Tenn. The group departs Nov. 3 and returns Nov. 5.
They are performing at the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s estate. Sightseeing stops include the Gaylord Opryland Resort, Ryman Auditorium and a ghost tour.
“This is the first (out-of-state and overnight) band trip, from what I know, in school history,” said Amanda Tumbleson, band director.
Now in her third year at Southeastern, Tumbleson continues to implement new ideas and activities to rejuvenate the marching band program. Down to nine members the year before she joined the staff, the band now numbers 26. Twenty-three signed up for the trek to Nashville.
“We hope to do a trip like this every three or four years to give students something to look forward to,” Tumbleson said. “Not that it would be the only reason someone would sign up for band, but it is a fun incentive.”
Junior Madison Newman, who plays clarinet and serves as the marching band’s dance commander, sees the Nashville trip as a bonding opportunity and a chance for her and her fellow students to broaden their horizons.
“It gets you outside your comfort zone, and you get to see a lot of cool sightseeing places,” she said.
A big country music fan, Newman is excited to not only spend time in the country music capital of the United States, but also to perform country music in it. The band chose to play songs from the half-time show they performed at football games the first half of this season: “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton, “House Party” by Sam Hunt, and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” by Luke Bryan.
Fundraising for the Nashville trip began over a year ago, with students selling handmade ornaments, honey, and merchant discount cards, as well as collecting donations from the community. These efforts covered half the cost of the trip; students were responsible for the other half.
Southeastern’s marching band includes students in grades 8-12, plus three seventh-graders who won spots through auditions. Of the 26 members, 17 are new to the band this year.
“Our older students had to step up and make sure their teaching game was on and that they were being good role models for the younger kids,” said Tumbleson, who is joined in the leading the band by assistant director Caitlin Everhart.
Newman said she is proud of how everyone in the band, older and younger alike, tackled the material–the music, the marching, and the dancing.
“We definitely overcame the challenge. In the future, we will be able to play harder music and it will be even more fun to watch,” she said. “Our job is to entertain.”