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The Bear Facts

Filed under Features, Showcase

Battlin’ Bear Band Performs New Show

The+band+will+get+the+opportunity+to+advance+to+State+this+year+with+a+new+show.+
The band will get the opportunity to advance to State this year with a new show.

The band will get the opportunity to advance to State this year with a new show.

Bailey Newton

Bailey Newton

The band will get the opportunity to advance to State this year with a new show.

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Hard work is definitely no stranger to members of the Battlin’ Bear Band. Well before the school year begins and before most people are awake, band students are out in the summer sun, learning and perfecting their show.

According to LCM Band Director Steven Schoppert,the 2013 show is both physically and mentally challenging because this year, the band has an opportunity to advance to the State Contest.

“(Since) it is a State Marching year for us, we have swung for the fences a little bit,” Schoppert said. “We needed a show that was difficult and would impress the judges beyond the Region level.”

The new show is much more difficult for each section of the band, but especially for the pit and drum line. Percussion teacher Mike Prejean, who is entering his first year at LCM, has been hard at work helping the percussion students learn and perform their new pieces. So far, the percussionists have adapted well and are getting the chance to really show off their skills.

“While wind instruments can only play one note at a time, keyboard percussionists can play four notes at a time, making them more versatile,” Prejean said.

According to Prejean, one of the biggest challenges of being a percussionist is learning how to play multiple different instruments.

“Unlike the other instrumentalists in the band, percussionists must know every instrument in the section,” he said. “Percussionists must be experts on multiple kinds of drums, keyboard instruments, and accessories.”

Schoppert said this is the most difficult percussion show he has instructed, while Prejean said the music performed by the front ensemble is more advanced than many of the college shows he has seen.

“The difficulty of the percussion parts, overall, I’d rate it a 7/10 compared to most competitive high school shows,” Prejean said.

While the front ensemble is challenged in their playing ability, the drum line also has to take on the task of learning its fair share of challenging music. Learning the music is not always the hardest part – it’s listening to the other 10 musicians and playing in sync with the next person in line.

“Fundamentally, the Drum Line parts are rather difficult as well,” Prejean said. “The hardest part for the Drum Line is cleaning the parts from person to person. I’m sure that each drummer can play the parts individually, but having 11 drummers play them at the same time, at the same pace, at the same volume, with the same technique, while marching, requires absolute perfection.”

While the percussionists have been busy perfecting their challenging pieces, the rest of the band has also stepped it up and has been working hard to stay together on the field, because of the quick tempo of the show.

“The music and marching are not only technically difficult, but they are very contemporary and unpredictable,” Schoppert said. “If one thing goes wrong, chances are more dominoes will topple… and topple is not a good word during marching season.”

In order to make the show successful, Schoppert continues to encourage his students with his own words of inspiration.

“Survive,” Schoppert said. “Don’t embarrass yourself. Then never make a mistake – ever.”

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Battlin’ Bear Band Performs New Show