The Parthenon

Marching Thunder “light up” the Joan with local high school bands

Buffy Six, Reporter

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The Marching Thunder teamed up with five high school bands from around the Tri-State to give a halftime show performance of more than 500 musicians, majorettes and flag corps.

Not only did the Thundering Herd football team stand victorious over Kent State, the Marching Thunder “lit up” the Joan C. Edwards Stadium with music from their halftime show, “Light Em Up.”

Greenbrier East, Greenbrier West, South Gallia, Riverside and Fairland high school joined the Marching Thunder and got to experience what it is like to play on a collegiate level inside of a football stadium.

Marching Thunder Director Adam Dalton said this was not the first time high schools have joined the Marching Thunder, although there have been some differences between performances.

“Every year that high schools join us, it’s fun and exciting to be a part of it,” Dalton said. “Last year, we had around 500 people total, but we had more bands at smaller numbers, whereas this performance, we had few bands with large numbers.”

Dalton said it “took a lot of time to come up with great theme” that he felt would be entertaining.

“I wanted it to be entertaining for the musicians to play as well as the audience to hear,” Dalton said. “I also wanted something that would be challenging for us, but exciting to watch.”

Dalton chose the song line-up and theme by watching TV and listening to the radio.

“The show was originally going to be titled ‘Lights Out,’ but after hearing Fall Out Boy’s song, I decided that ‘Light Em Up’ made more sense and would be more positive,” Dalton said.

The Marching Thunder started the show with “Chandelier” by Sia and continued into “Light Em Up” by Fall Out Boy and “Green Light” by Lorde.

Dalton gave some insight to upcoming shows and these specific songs.

“Once we get the intro down, we will have a singer come and sing ‘Chandelier,’ and then have the band come in and play,” Dalton said. “Then, I wanted something fun for the band to play, and I heard ‘Green Light’ on the radio and I knew it was perfect for the drumline and the theme.”

In future shows, Dalton plans to have a backtrack of “Green Light,” so the audience will hear Lorde sing while the band plays.

At song number four, the high school bands joined in for the final half of the show. The “Light Em Up” show carried on through “Lights” by Journey. Dalton wanted a slower ballad in the show to find balance.

“In my four years at Marshall, we’ve never done a slow song, so I wanted to incorporate that,” Dalton said. “’Lights’ by Journey came to mind, and I felt it would be nice for some of the older generations that may not know Lorde and Sia to get into the show as well.”

For now, “Lights” is the end of the halftime show for the Marching Thunder, but Dalton said he hopes to have “Lights” by Ellie Goulding ready to use as the closer for the show soon.

The combination of bands continued with “Right Above It” by Lil Wayne and “Mountain Music” by Alabama, which are songs the Marching Thunder plays in the stands.

“’Mountain Music’ is like our fourth quarter hype song to finish off the game,” Dalton said.

Dalton said it was “awesome” to have the high school bands be a part of the show.

“The students were focused and ready to go, the band directors did an amazing job of preparing them, so we only had about an hour of actual rehearsal time before the game,” Dalton said. “It was amazing to see that many people on the field; my goal is to eventually have that many Marching Thunder members on the field.”

Dalton said he left this halftime performance of 500 people was a great success and he is “excited to show what else the Marching Thunder has in store for the rest of the season.”

Buffy Six can be contacted at [email protected]

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