Marching Southerners 2009 Production
Of Thee I Sing
Throughout history, America has experienced many seasons of change. Every passing century has brought with it times of triumph and failure; prosperity and poverty; victory and defeat. As we begin a new year, the Marching Southerners pause to reflect upon the events of our past and look to the future with hope in the unyielding spirit and earnest heart of America that has remained unchanged through it all.
Robert Jager’s Esprit De Corps opens the 2009 production. This staple of the concert band repertoire was composed for the United States Marine Band. The dark, yet powerful symphonic sound of the Southerners is unleashed as woodwinds and brass soar through the melodic sections of the piece with military like precision. Listen for hints of the National Anthem interwoven into the arrangement, as it becomes a unifying theme throughout the entire production-a symbolic nod to the country that is the unifying theme of us all…
American society was shaken like never before during the era of World War II. Music provided a welcomed release of the difficulties and tensions experienced during that time. Don Raye and Hughie Prince’s Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy soared to popularity and remains arguably the most iconic World War II tune today. The Ballerinas will be featured in this unique portrait of a time period as the Southerners transform the field into an almost cinematic display of choreography and color. It may seem like a light-hearted moment, but the technical abilities of the hornline (trumpets in particular) will be tested like never before in this brand new and searing arrangement!
The mood quickly changes as the Southerners mourn the loss and honor the sacrifice of the countless men and women who have given their lives in defense of the freedom we enjoy. Michael Kamen’s Requiem for a Soldier from the hit television series Band of Brothers is presented as an elegy to the fallen heroes of the United States. Watch as a moving story line unfolds on the field. Just as you think the emotion couldn’t be any higher, the Southerners wash the audience in waves of sound with a powerful statement of Rolf Løvland and Brendan Graham’s You Raise Me Up. This piece, used for the commemorations of the September 11th terrorist attacks, is the perfect soundtrack for what will appear before your eyes. In a spectacle too moving to put into words, the Color Guard and Ballerinas will transform the entire field into a memorial of those who gave their lives to truly “raise us up” to all that we could be. Just wait until you see this…
Before you can dry the tears, Finale 2009 begins in a subdued, yet hopeful tone. America the Beautiful is heard underneath the faint statements of the songs of each branch of the United States Military. These fleeting strains are symbolic of the souls of our fallen soldiers as they make their final journey from this life to the next… a truly unique and artistic moment that pushes the envelope of creativity and showcases the Southerners at the height of their powers.
Next, the Southerners percussion section is featured on a solo based upon When Johnny Comes Marching Home. The front ensemble and batterie have a reputation for intensity and precision, and this year’s drum solo delivers just that. The world of marching percussion will be raised to standards that don’t even exist…
Over the past few years the “push” has become the moment everybody talks about. This year, The Star Spangled Banner brings the show home, as the Southerners form a company front and push the sidelines back several hundred feet. Watch as the Color Guard paints the field in red, white, and blue, while the raw power of the Marching Southerners brings this production to a close…so you think. Just when you think you can’t take anymore, the Southerners launch into one final statement with blistering tempos, modulations, and drill moves never attempted until now. Prepare to be amazed!
2009 JSU Marching Southerners: Of Thee I Sing is a celebration of the spirit of America: A country tried by the fires of war, tempered by the hardships of depression, yet fortified in the strength of honor, sacrifice, and pride. When the clouds of division and differences are broken by the dawn’s early light, there we stand as One. We are America…and we are proud.
2009 Show Flyer
2009 Show Clips (mp3s)