Band debuts industrial-strength halftime show

Mac debuts fall show on Friday at House Park for fans and on Saturday at Texas Marching Classic for judges

Video by Gregory James

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The marching band debuted its fully operational 2018 fall show, “Machines of Change,” this weekend, first at halftime of McCallum’s dismantling of Lanier at House Park and then again on Saturday at the Texas Marching Classic at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Round Rock.

The brass section this year has more power and determination in articulation and sound sophistication than in previous years.”

— Drum major Jonathan Forbes

Drum major Jonathan Forbes tells Macjournalism that this year’s show depicts the Industrial Revolution of the British Isles.

“Musically the show this year is spectacular,” Forbes said. “The brass section this year has more power and determination in articulation and sound sophistication than in previous years so it’s wonderful to hear powerful chords while the woodwinds bring beautiful melodies to life while also having fast fingers to work through difficult technique.”

To hear Forbes’ description is to understand why the band and color guard have to put in so many hours to bring the show the life.  The show begins with marchers swaying to represent wheat. The song, “Oh Danny Boy” conveys the idyllic calm of preindustrial British farmland. The second movement, “The Red Machine,” depicts the onset of the revolution followed by the third movement, “The Peterloo Overture,” and the fourth movement, “Jupiter,” which conveys the sophistication of the modern world.

These images from halftime of the McCallum-Lanier football game at House Park were taken by Grace Nugent and Annabel Winter.

The show is very sparkly compared to last year’s. It’s very fast-paced and very challenging.”

— Clarinet player Kyle Davis

The band then brought the show into the program’s second competition of the marching season at the Texas Marching Classic in Round Rock. The band competed against 15 5A and 6A bands in one of the most competitive marching band competitions in the region. While the band did not make the final round, clarinet player Kyle Davis said there was a lot to like about the band’s performance.

“Overall, the show is very sparkly compared to last year’s,” Davis said after the band’s performance on Saturday. “It’s very fast-paced and very challenging. Today at the competition, I think we did pretty well.”

These images of the marching band enjoying their last few moments before heading to the field to perform at the Texas Marching Classic were taken by Madelynn Niles.

Ronald Reagan High School won the competition, with Leander Rouse second and Hays High School third, but the finals were not without controversy. The final band to perform, Lake Travis, had to end its show prematurely due to inclement weather. Given the option of being judged harshly on a partial show or withdrawing from the finals and being designated an exhibition band, Lake Travis chose the latter. Several Lake Travis band supporters posted messages on the event Twitter page that they thought Lake Travis’s preliminary scores should have been used to determine their place in the final round.

MacJournalism is pleased to show our exclusive video of the band’s debut performance of this year’s halftime show at House Park.

We are also pleased to share not one but two exclusive photo galleries: one containing images from Friday’s performance and another of candid images of the band on Saturday before they performed at the Texas Marching Classic.

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