Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune
The Oberlin marching band practices playing the pep song for the first time.
Fifty-two musicians will fill out the Phoenix marching band this fall and conductor Len Gnizak will lead them on the field for his 12th year.
Band members plan to go to Florida this year to take part in a parade and take a class on enhancing their skills.
Gnizak said he has taken the kids on similar trips in the past to help them learn new music and have their music match the animation of a video.
The band has played songs and matched their motions to video clips from Disney’s “Tarzan” and the elephants from Aladdin.”
“It’s a good skill to learn,” Gnizak said. “You get one take so they have to concentrate on doing it right.”
The 14 Phoenix seniors have chosen every song that will be played this year during the halftime show. Gnizak has allowed each senior to take turns running the rehearsal.
“They’re practicing to be a field commander or field captain,” he said. Gnizak plans to announce official season band leaders next week.
Seniors will have their own show at the end of the year where they pick songs and the choreograph the show.
Oberlin’s marching band is well-known for its light show, put on each year during the homecoming football game.
High school musicians plan to play three songs during their season opener halftime show on Friday, Aug. 28: “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” by Wang Chung, “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift, and “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled.
“The one thing I’m really proud of is we have 25 rookies,” Gnizak said.
He said he’s very impressed with how quickly the new band members have picked up on each song and the techniques of marching.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.