Hi, my name is Seth and I’m a band geek, or band fag or band dork. Whatever you want to call me, I was at the drum major of my high school band. I don’t deny it, I celebrate it. Being that person then defines who I am now, or at the least set in motion the events that shaped me.
Here’s where I’m going to get snobby: I know marching bands. I was a member of a band (Lassiter High School, Marietta, GA) that has won two (2) Band of America Grand Nationals, the equivalent of a national title for high school marching bands. I marched, directed and helped prepare numerous versions of these bands for competition and, in competing, saw hundreds of good and truly great bands. I’d say I was an expert, but that’s stretching things a bit since I haven’t been active in that world for over a decade, but at least I have a good starting point, a frame of reference.
Now that I’ve laid out my credentials, let me undermine myself: I’ve never seen Drumline. Maybe I don’t have the time or the desire, but a movie about bands – which would seem to be aimed at me somewhat – holds no interest to me. Maybe it’s the teen movie angle. Maybe it’s Orlando Jones. Whatever the case, I certainly respect the style of marching, even if that’s not the way we did it.
And now the real-life band from the film, the Southwest Dekalb Panther Band – has a TV show, the Dallas Austin-produced Drumroll: SWD (which actually doesn’t have a page on Peachtree TV’s website) [Tuesdays @ 8]. I may actually watch the show (and perhaps the movie) because of the reality factor. I want to see real kids working hard to attain a goal. I can get behind entertainment like that, especially when I’ve been there myself.
What I really ought to do is find a copy of From the 50 Yard Line, a documentary on marching bands. The Centerville Jazz Band of Centerville, Ohio is featured and their the closest thing I’ve seen personally to the style of marching that Southwest Dekalb does. Granted, they did win Grand Nationals in 1992 and they don’t do some of the dancing/routines, but the music is at least in a similar vein.
So my December resolution will be to watch some of Drumroll: SWD, Drumline and From the 50 Yard Line and report back. Until then, Band Ten Hut!
UPDATE: Since we work in the same company a few floors away from one another, Gina McKenzie was nice enough to send me a press release about the show.