By Sarah Zuniga
Some Oregon residents may have heard brass and percussion cadences rather than fireworks to start their Fourth of July weekend.
Oregon High School was the practice location for the Music City Drum & Bugle Corps on July 3, before their performance later that night at Rockford’s Show of Shows at Boylan Catholic High School.
The corps arrived at Oregon High School in the morning and practiced all day, then performed a full run-through of their show shortly before 3 p.m.
Keith Hall, executive director of Music City, founded the corps back in 2008.
“I was in a drum corps in 1980 and it was the most fun I’d ever had,” said Hall. “I was a band director for nine years and I always wanted to start a drum corps and seven year ago, a group of people in Nashville got it going. We had 47 members the first year, this year we have 128.”
Music City’s show this year features three movements from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”: “Mars: the Bringer of War”, “Venus: the Bringer of Peace”, and “Jupiter: the Bringer of Jollity.”
The Show of Shows was the first event for Music City this season.
“Most of them right now have no idea how much fun tonight is going to be,” said Hall. “When they hear the audience cheer at the end of the show, they will, then and only then, understand how much all of the sweat was worth it.”
Snare drum player Colton Hyten, Portland, Tennessee, is a two-year member of Music City.
“It’s really different than anything else I’ve ever done in my life,” said Hyten about playing in the corps. “It’s very demanding in every mental and physical way that I can ever imagine and it really pushes you in those ways. “
“I think we’re going to do good,” said Hyten about this year’s corps. “We try not to follow ourselves score-wise. We try to make every rep count and make everything the best that we can be as we move forward through the summer, and as long as we’ve improved at the end, and we’re as good as we can be, we’re striving for a perfect show, and so it doesn’t really matter what the numbers give us, as long as we get that perfect show to us, then that’s what it is.”
Music City went on to place second in the Open Class that night, with a score of 54.1.
“We don’t focus on competition at all. We just want to be the best drum corps we can be,” said Hall.