Tuesday, October, 30
By Mike Stucka
The Big Blue marching band is having an unusually heroic year.
The band is focusing on superhero themes including the theme from "Superman" and the old television version of the "Spiderman" theme.
"I played the Batman arrangement, and they were sold," said Ed Jack, who directs the 39-student band.
The 39-student band lost just six seniors from last year, leaving a band comprised almost entirely of veterans to tackle new music, new instruments and a new school. When the students moved from the old Forest Avenue site to the new Essex Street school, they found much new equipment in the new building.
"The kids are playing on a lot of brand-new stuff, and a lot of instruments we didn't even have before," Jack said.
Among the new instruments are marching trombones, which replace a slide with more valves. While they have the same sound, the new trombones are smaller and easier to march with | and don't carry the same risk of whacking a band member with the slide, Jack said. The band also has new marching baritone horns, which don't need to be cradled in a musician's arms.
The new music, instruments and school amount to big changes for the marching band students, many of whom started off playing in the school system's fourth grade.
"Students are enthusiastic about everything in general. They enjoy being in a band anyway, and having all this new stuff, new room, everything, has added to the whole thing," Jack said.