Jets blend classical, rock sounds for 2019 marching show

MADISON – Almost 200 students in James Clemens High School Marching Band will command the field and streets during 2019 football games, contests and parades.

“This year’s show, ‘To Rule the Night,’ is all about the inspiration we get from the moon,” Band Director Keith Anderson said.

Featured musical numbers are Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” Debussy’s “Claire De Lune,” Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” and Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse from Dark Side of the Moon.”

Rian Marcus, a junior who plays trumpet, will capture the audience’s attention as soloist during “Moondance.”

For fall 2019, James Clemens has 192 total members, with 177 marching in the competition show. Along with two Drum Majors, the sections include 115 winds (brass and woodwinds), 28 percussion, 24 in Color Guard and 8 in Dance Squad.

James Clemens’ 2019 Band Camp started July 22. The band practiced marching fundamentals, learned the show music and began memorizing the marching drill. Camp ended with the eighth annual “Thirsty Games,” an all-out, section-versus-section water fight with water guns, balloons and buckets. The saxophones triumphed as winning section.

Band members have learned a new technique, commonly called a ‘flutter step.’ “Members don’t specifically march in time but move freely from one set to another, with smaller but faster steps to create a less rigid and more floated effect across the field,” Anderson said.

Anderson accepted the position of Director of Bands in December 2011. He organized the band program when James Clemens opened in fall 2012. Brian Sims works as assistant band director.

Drum Majors for the 2019 marching season are Jadon Sweat and Abigail Davies. “While the Drum Majors assist with things like warmups, painting the field and communicating with section leaders, they do so much more than that,” Anderson said. “They are the main liaison from the directors to the students … and from the students to the directors.”

In addition, Sweat and Davies sometimes input the students’ perspective to Anderson and Sims. “We count on them to exemplify the band’s ‘Three Pillars of Excellence, Integrity and Unity,'” Anderson said.

During football season, James Clemens bandsmen always anticipate the crosstown match with Bob Jones High School. “The JC vs. BJ game is always a great crowd and great atmosphere,” Anderson said.

In 2018 marching contests, James Clemens won all superior ratings at all competitions. At Hewitt-Trussville High School, the Jets earned “Best in Class” for Drumline and Dance Line. At Rome, Ga., the band claimed “Outstanding Musical Performance” at Peach State Marching Festival & Competition.

For the 2019 season, James Clemens will compete in Hoover Invitational Marching Competition, hosted by Hoover High School; Florence Marching Invitational, hosted by Florence High School; and Alabama State Marching Championships in Hoover.

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