The Knox High School Band’s heading to the semi-state competition.
Band Director Craige Phipps says the school’s had a good competition season after being dropped to a smaller size category by the Indiana State School Music Association due to a decrease in enrollment last year.
He says that success has continued as they work to qualify for state finals, “ISSMA has three competitions that they host for state finals, including state finals. The first one would be the regional level, which for us this year was at Lafayette Jefferson High School. We were in competition among 14 bands, and we received a gold rating and were named one of the semi-state finalists, so we move on to the semi-state competition, which will be held on October 31, Halloween, at Franklin Community High School in Franklin, Indiana, south of Indianapolis.”
Phipps explains the Knox Band still has some work to do, to get to the state finals November 7, “The semi-state level is the top 20 bands in the state. The top 10 from the North Regional and the top 10 from the South Regional come to a common site, and so there’s 20 bands and you have to place in the top 10 of those bands. And once you place in that top 10, then you’re qualified for state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium.”
Phipps says this year’s show is a tribute to the band booster president, who’d often asked the band to do a show based on “The Wizard of Oz.” This year, he finally agreed to it – but on the condition that it would be a different take on the story. What they came up with was a version that doesn’t follow the Yellow Brick Road, but explores what would happen if you follow the Red Road. “We use a little bit of the music from ‘The Wizard of Oz,'” Phipps says. “’Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ is in there and the ‘Wicked Witch Theme’ is in there, but we took some other songs that you wouldn’t necessarily think of in association with ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ such as Mozart’s ‘Requiem,’ the theme from the movie ‘Requiem for a Dream,’ Adele’s ‘Turning Tables.’ And then we put all that together and came out with this show concept, and the kids really love it, the community really loves it, but more importantly, our band booster president loves it.”
He says the band will be judged on a variety of areas, including individual and ensemble music, individual and ensemble visual, and music and visual effect.