Johnstown Independent

Big Red Band strikes large freshman class, new logo

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The Big Red Band, also known as the pride of Johnstown, will showcase 190 marchers this year, including its biggest freshman class of 53 musicians.

Band director Joe Carver said Johnstown-Monroe High School's show-style marching band began camp July 27 with torrential rains and tornado watches at Camp Marengo. By the time camp ended July 31, however, the skies had cleared and students were enjoying autumn-like temperatures.

Senior Quinn Weinberger, who plays saxophone, said she enjoys making memories at band camp.

"We put a lot of hard work in what we do," she said. "It's good when you see the hard work pay off and see new people coming in."

Senior Leanna Lehner, who plays flute, said the upperclassmen help the freshman with their nerves.

"We're such a small school," she said. "We only have 500 kids in school, and about 200 are in the band. Camp is good because you get to be with all these people."

She said one of her best memories with the band thus far was the march down Main Street USA at the Walt Disney World Resort in 2011.

Senior Emily Wilson said she enjoys being with peers who share similar interests.

"I like the overall band-camp experience, being away from school and focusing on band and what you love," she said. "You make new friends you will have forever."

Junior Brooklynn Warner, who plays trumpet, said she loves band camp.

"I like hanging out with friends and learning drills," she said.

Carver said the theme of the first show will be 1980s rock and will include Dreams, by Van Halen; Thunderstruck, by AC/DC; Alone, by Heart; and Living on a Prayer, by Bon Jovi.

"New for this year is our logo," Carver said. "I've been working on a brand, a logo that's the band's. It's a shield. 'Shield of Dreams' is our season theme."

The shield logo will be on the band's tour shirts, hats and letterhead. It's also on the band's updated website, jhsbigredband.org.

The band also welcomed new assistant marching band director Blaire Warner, who was the former dance-team adviser. She replaced Dennis Moore, who resigned.

Warner is a 2013 Johnstown-Monroe High School valedictorian and was a member and choreographer of the first Big Red Band dance team.

Carver is in his sixth year as director of the Big Red Band.

The band's first home show will be Sept. 19, when the Johnnies play host to Granville. The band also will march in the Pataskala Street Fair parade Aug. 16 and in the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival parade Aug. 27.

Carver said the band also would perform during a Cleveland Browns game halftime show Nov. 16.

"We were asked to go back, and that's a big deal," he said. "Professional sports team don't have high school kids come (to perform). That's a big compliment."

The band will travel to the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., on New Year's Day.

"We will participate in a field-show competition against other high school bands for a right to perform at pregame of the bowl game," Carver said. "We will also march in the Outback Bowl parade and participate in a combined band with all of the other high school bands for halftime of the game."

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