G-C to showcase state performance Friday evening

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GREENFIELD — When members of Greenfield-Central High School’s Cougar Pride Marching Band take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday morning, they’ll look up and see several thousand people in the stands.

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The size of the crowd — potentially 13,000 people — isn’t new to the band students who made it to the Indiana State School Music Association’s State Finals last year. But for the many freshman and other new band members who haven’t been on the big stage, it’s certain to cause a few butterflies.

Cougar Pride is one of about 40 marching bands from across Indiana that will compete at the state finals on Saturday, Nov. 9. The bands are split into four classes based on school size. Last year, Cougar Pride placed second in Class B, and it’s their third time in four years going to the state competition.

The 160-student band will perform at 11:45 a.m., eighth out of 10 Class B schools. Chris Wing, band director, said the placement is random, but going near the bottom of the group might give them an edge.

“There’s always a perceived advantage of going later and being one of the last things a judge sees,” Wing said. “Whether that’s real or not, you never know, but it’s the perception and the feel that being later is better.”

Before they enter the field, the band will warm up and travel through different areas of Lucas Oil Stadium.

This year’s show for Greenfield-Central, called “The Music of the Night,” focuses on sounds commonly heard in the dark, such as the movements and noises coming from nocturnal animals and other creatures, said Wing, who’s in his eighth year as director. The band will lead the audience through renditions of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” “Clair de Lune” and “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles.

In one part of the show, the wind ensemble — all students not in the drum line or color guard — stop playing and perform a dance choreographed as if the students were animals.

Wing said the students have put in more than 400 hours of work over the course of the season. Some students and staff from the high school and those who’ve driven by the school this fall might’ve seen the students practicing on the football field and parking lots, but many in the community haven’t.

“It’s equal parts athletic and artistic. It’s physically challenging, it’s mentally challenging, it’s emotionally challenging,” Wing said. “We put them through the wringer through the course of the year.

The marching band will play host to a community night on Friday evening, Nov. 8, to perform their show. The band will present its routine at 7:30 p.m. in Hancock Health Stadium at the high school. The performance is free and open to anyone in the community, Wing said.

The band started the tradition of showcasing its routine in 2014, Wing said. Many students in the band have friends and family who aren’t able to attend shows throughout the season.

Friday evening’s weather forecast calls for temperatures in the upper 20s. Wing said he’s planning for a 30-minute show so people don’t have to stay out in the cold too long.

“I hope they get a full house on Friday night,” Wing said, “and that they can show off a little bit and have some people walk away with a little bit of ‘wow.’”

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WHAT: Greenfield-Central High School’s Cougar Pride Marching Band performance of state finals show

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Hancock Health Stadium at Greenfield-Central High School, 810 N. Broadway St.

INFO: Performance is free and open to the public. Dress warm.

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WHAT: Greenfield-Central High School’s Cougar Pride Marching Band will perform at the Indiana State School Music Association’s State Finals

WHEN: performance at 11:45 a.m.; awards from 12:30-1:15 p.m. 

WHERE: Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis

COST: $22 for adults; $18 for students; kids under age 2 are free.

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