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Last marching season, the LaRue County High School Band of Hawks took judges “Beyond the Sunset,” This year, the band is continuing its journey beyond with “Awakening Angels.”
“Basically it’s about the transformation of angels in terms of kind of coming to life,” Director Jaime Smith said. “They start as metallic beings and they come alive throughout the show. There is a progression of earth to heaven going on.”
Smith said the show was not inspired by anything specific and that it came together from the music, which has a wide variety of familiar melodies from Beethoven, Sting and Sarah McLachlan.
“We listened to the music and we liked it, and people have done things with angels before,” he said. “I just think this is a unique take on it.”
The Class 3-A band has 52 members this season, which Smith said is the largest the band has had in “a few years.” The band includes about 30 woodwind and brass performers, nine color guard and about 13 percussionists.
Smith said about 30 of the members are new.
“That is a double-edged sword,” Smith said. “It’s a great thing, of course, but that’s more than half of the band that’s brand new and they’re having to be taught the culture and expectations of the organization.”
Last season, the band barely missed out on a spot to compete in the Kentucky Music Educators Association State Finals at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, placing seventh in 3-A semifinals.
“We missed the top spot by a little more than a point, but we were first in music,” Smith said. “It was a close year just altogether.”
While Smith is staying modest on his goals for the season, seniors are hoping to finish their final marching season at KMEA state finals.
“I want to make it to state (finals),” said Kaylee Smith, saxophone section leader. “I’m also wanting my section to mature musically.”
Smith is leading a section of three saxophone players, including herself and two freshmen.
Lauren Zahrndt is starting her second season as drum major. She said this year she’s hoping to improve herself as a leader and create a closer bond with the band family.
“I’m looking forward to a great season,” Zahrndt said. “I think we have a lot of potential and with a lot of new members we have to work that much harder to achieve our expectations for the season.”