The Thomson High School Bulldog Brigade will be a little blue this year.
Band members attended their annual band camp last week to practice their new routines for the 2010-2011 school year. Band director Jesse Morlan said this year's music will be from the movie Avatar.
"We have invested a lot into this people-wise, creation-wise and work-wise," Mr. Morlan said. "The kids have really embraced it."
Avatar is a 2009 epic science-fiction film that became the highest grossing film to hit the box offices of all time. The story's setting is on a moon in outerspace, where a mining operation threatens a local tribe of Na'vi, which are blue creatures.
Bulldog Brigade Auxiliary members will be dressed in blue with wings and blue face paint, and will dance with lighted, spinning toys, big leaves and fire batons.
"We're going to bring Avatar to life," said Becky Morlan, who directs the auxiliary. "It has to be very imaginative."
Mrs. Morlan said plans are to have members of the band's tuba section pose as big robots who will simulate a battle with the dancers. A professional marshal arts choreographer is scheduled to come to THS in September to choreograph the battle scene.
But last week, rookie band members were concentrating on learning the basics of marching in sync with the music and each other.
"Yes, it's hard," Mr. Morlan said to them during class. "But, embrace it, and it gets easier."
Approximately 80 students attended band camp last week, with 50 more joining them this week. Mr. Morlan said he hopes to have approximately 130 in the marching band this year.
"The leadership this year is the best group we've ever had," he said. "It gets better every year. They seem to remember the year before and what could be done different. When you think it can't get any better, the next group comes in."
A professional staff of band members from the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina was brought in to teach band camp.
In addition to music from Avatar, Mr. Morlan said the band will do a "pop show," that consists of music from Journey.