The first day of school will come with no surprises for the Thomson High Band Brigade. They have been spending the past couple of weeks learning their shows for the upcoming year.
Band Director Jesse Morlan said the band is learning two shows for competition - a Beatles Love show, which includes "Drive My Car," "Eleanor Rigby," "Hey Jude," and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," and a Rock Heroes show that includes Jimmy Hendrix's "Purple Haze," Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dear or Alive," and Aerosmith's "Walk This Way."
"The stuff the crowd likes at a football game isn't always best for a competition, and stuff for a competition isn't what's good for a football game," Mr. Morlan explained. "In competition shows, the music is harder and the marching is harder."
The 2009-2010 Bulldog Brigade has approximately 250 members in grades nine through 12, according to Mr. Morlan, and approximately 110 of those will be marching. Many band members have conflicting schedules with their other extra-curricular activities because they also are football or softball players, cheerleaders or in JROTC.
"They just don't march, but they can still be in the band," Mr. Morlan said.
Members of the leadership team were able to attend leadership camp at the University of Georgia this summer thanks to the THS band boosters, Mr. Morlan said. He said this year's leaders are some of the best he's ever had, "most of them are performing on a professional adult level."
"So I want to thank the band boosters, it was money well spent," he added.
The Brigade staff also brought in three adjunct staff members from UGA to create routines and teach them to the dance team members. Auxiliary Director Becky Morlan and Percussion Coach Richard Williams also assisted Mr. Morlan and Band Director Emme Hines in teaching the band camp.
"These campers have been the best group, maturity wise," Mr. Morlan said. "On the first day of camp, they were all business."