It’s halftime Friday night during an Anderson County High School football game.
After the players leave the field, a battle between good and evil will take place, and the music of royalty will fill the air.
It’s called, “Thrones,” and it’s the halftime show the Anderson County High School Marching Band is putting on in 2023.
“The kids started working on the show in mid-July,” Director Jon Larmoyeux said. “They put some long, hot days in.”
Anderson County High School Band has 90 members. “We’re down a few numbers this year,” Larmoyeux said. “We graduated 35 seniors last year.”
This year, the band has 18 seniors, and Larmoyeux said he likes what he is seeing from them.
“We have a great group providing leadership,” he said. “They lead by example. They do things right and it rubs off.”
Larmoyeux said he’s been impressed how not just the seniors but all the “veteran” members of the band are taking the freshmen “under their wing.”
And there is a lot to learn.
The full program won’t be mastered until late September, and will be unveiled at the Clinch River Classic high school band competition in Clinton.
It’s no easy task. You have to play good, look good, and “march” good (be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be).
Tagen Lowery will have a trombone solo once the entire show in unveiled.
Drum major for the band is MaryJo Mattingly. She’s the leader of the pack.
The marching band will also participate in competitions at the Karns Invitational on Sept. 30, and then on Oct. 28.
This is just the “field” aspect of the band, the halftime show, the competitions. There are also concerts.
Larmoyeux worked with long-time ACHS Band Director Paul Brown until Brown retired. Larmoyeux has carried on something Brown did — he lets the band have fun.
“It’s tradition,” he said.
The band’s success and impact on Friday nights is “tradition and longevity,” Larmoyeux said.
It may be where the band members are seated at home games — although it doesn’t seem to matter where they sit during away games — but after halftime is over, the band seems to crank it up a notch and have some fun with the music they play.
It’s as much a tradition at an Anderson County High School football game as scoring touchdowns. They’re loud, raucous, and just plain fun.
And if you think that’s still a lot of work — all those hot, summer days spent marching around, carrying musical instruments, trying to learn the routine — for a halftime show (don’t forget the competitions), consider this:
Band members’ Friday night depends on home or away games. Home games are easier because the trailers of equipment don’t have to be loaded and unloaded, so it begins at 5 p.m. with a meal and winds down when the game is over.
Away games begin at 3 or 3:30 p.m., or earlier if the game is REALLY away.
It doesn’t end until the band is back on the campus at ACHS and the trailers are unloaded, and that can be anywhere from 11 p.m. – midnight.
Yeah, it’s work.
And you have to be committed to it.
But ain’t it fun?