High school bands fill Dix Stadium

Erica Crist

Students from area high schools perform at the home opener at Dix Stadium Saturday afternoon. Sixteen high school bands teamed up with the Marching Golden Flashes for the half-time performance.

Credit: Steve Schirra

If Dix Stadium had a roof, the Marching Golden Flashes and their 1,169 guest performers would have blown it off.

The Kent State marching band hosted “Band Day” on Saturday for 14 Northeast Ohio high schools.

“Students, especially from small schools, get to be part of a big gala event,” said H. Scott Curfman, director of athletic bands.

Robert Hoefler, director of instrumental music at Nordonia High School, said he decided to participate in “Band Day” because it’s a day when everyone pulls together for the common cause of playing music.

“I hope that it will teach the students that through their skills they can make music without knowing each other,” he said.

Curfman said he hoped the students would have a good experience with low pressure.

“It’s healthy for students to realize that they have more similarities than differences,” he said.

Students from the smallest high school, Ledgemont, with 21 performers, to the largest high school, North Olmsted, with 201 performers, all seemed to have a good time.

James Hayes, senior tenor drum player from Nordonia High School, said his favorite part was getting to meet members of other bands when all the drum lines combined for the show.

The high school students arrived at Kent State at 11:45 a.m. for a three-hour rehearsal and field placement. After a short lunch break, it was time for the game.

The high school students joined the Marching Golden Flashes for “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game, as well as “Firebird Finale” and “America the Beautiful” during half-time.

“They all did really well, especially because they only showed up a couple of hours before the show,” said Scott Marsh, junior music education major and field commander for the Marching Golden Flashes.

Curfman said “Band Day” was not only important for the high school students, but also for college students.

“It’s important for the college students to remember where they came from,” he said. “Also, serving as role models is an important process for college students. Our flags are helping 91 flags; it’s a big responsibility and teaching is an important part of it.”

Terri Wuelfing, junior interior design major and member of the Marching Golden Flashes Color Guard, said she thought all the flags did really well.

“They were all very quick to pick up the routines,” she said. “And it’s exciting because it’s really cool to see such a large group working together. I had a lot of fun, and I think our guests did too.”

For more information on Marching Golden Flashes activities, visit their Web site at http://dept.kent.edu/band/ksumgf/mgf.htm.

Contact performing arts reporter Erica Crist at [email protected].