Top 10 Marching Moments of 2008: Details, Photos and Videos
By Eddie Carden
Posted March 15, 2009
Based on reader suggestions, our editorial staff put together Halftime Magazine’s first annual Top 10 Marching Moments of the Year. 2008 was a great year in the marching arts from coast-to-coast, and here are some of our favorite moments:
Although the Bethune-Cookman University Marching Wildcats weren’t the only ones celebrating the election of President Obama, they may have been the loudest. The college marching band from Daytona Beach, Fla., made a big splash when it formed a portrait of the President-Elect on the field during a game against Florida A&M on Nov. 22.
Photo courtesy of Bethune-Cookman Marching Wildcats.
United Percussion mesmerized indoor percussion audiences all year with its spinning gyroscope drum rack. Tenor player Jeff Bickford played a 20-second tenor feature at the show’s finale all while spinning upside down and sideways! In 2007, the group used three rotating drum racks that were able to spin upside-down, but this year’s improved design spun in all directions to appear like the chemical symbol for “Fusion,” the show’s title.
The LSU Tiger Marching Band won the ESPN contest, which netted the group a $25,000 award. ESPN featured marching bands from seven top schools as they performed the theme from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Entries were aired during College Football Live, and ESPN featured LSU’s winning performance on its College GameDay broadcast.
The Cavaliers Alumni Corps celebrated the Cavaliers’ 60th anniversary in style, featuring an enthusiastic drum solo by Sam Geati during “Sing, Sing, Sing,” who performed the same song with the corps in the 1950s. The group’s passion clearly moved the audience, which leapt to its feet with applause at the finale.
The Flanagan World Guard from Charles W. Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, Fla., became the first group to break the stranglehold that James Logan High School has had on the activity for years. How many years? Try 10 World Championships in a row from 1998 to 2007. The caveat? James Logan didn’t compete last year. Look for a showdown between the two groups in 2009 when they meet at World Championships.
The U.S. Army All-American Marching Band made its debut in January 2008 with 91 of the nation’s most talented musicians. The group performed alongside an all-star color guard from DCI at the U.S. Army All American Bowl in San Antonio. With a second year under its belt, the All-American Band gives young musicians hope to become All-Americans!
On Aug. 3, 2008, the U.S. Olympic Orchestra became the first-ever foreign musicians to perform in the historic Tiananmen Square in Beijing, according to Vallejo,
Calif.-based World Projects International
Music Productions, the tour operator. The Square was closed to the public for several hours while the group performed an hour-long concert as part of a televised cultural celebration.
Phantom seemed a fan favorite as the crowd erupted for the championships announcement, and the stadium roared throughout the encore of “Spartacus.” Blue Devils B was also knocked from the top spot in Open Class when the Vanguard Cadets took first place in an upset.
Photo by Jolesch Photography, www.jolesch.com.
In the next issue, we’ll be looking at the Top 10 college alumni marching bands. Nominate your favorites here.
Isabelle F. says:
April 20th, 2009 at 20:32
It's a shame that Phantom had to resort to brutality and on-field "murders" to entertain the crowd and get that GE score and ultimately the win. I imagine we will see lots of copycat killers in DCI this summer and in the high school bands. Maybe some fake blood too! Can't wait.
April 24th, 2009 at 19:49
You must hate the 1987 Sky Ryders then. That West Side Story show where they re-enact the rumble on the field and Tony gets "shot" and dies. I mean, really, you need to lighten up here. It is, after all, just a drum corps show. Nobody really died. Nobody was glamorizing anything, just telling a story. And oh yeah, audiences loved it. If anyone was actually that ignorant to be offended by it, they were clearly drowned out by the massive standing ovation they received. Surely there are more important things in the world to take offense at.
April 24th, 2009 at 19:54
And for the record, the Blue Devils won overall GE at finals last year.
Halftime Magazine®, a bimonthly print publication and online community, presents the sights, sounds and spirit of the marching arts, providing education, entertainment and inspiration for students, directors, alumni and fans of high school marching band, college marching band, drum corps, color guard and winter guard, indoor drum line or percussion, and all-age ensembles.