A musical battle between good and evil erupts on the field when the Reynoldsburg Marching Pride presents "Jekyll and Hyde," performing songs from the popular musical, acting in dramatic scenes and singing 16 measures in four-part harmony.

A musical battle between good and evil erupts on the field when the Reynoldsburg Marching Pride presents "Jekyll and Hyde," performing songs from the popular musical, acting in dramatic scenes and singing 16 measures in four-part harmony.

The show proved popular with judges, too, as the band received the highest possible score -- superior -- at the state Ohio Music Education Association contest Oct. 29 at Hilliard Bradley High School.

"The band had a phenomenal performance, especially with the crazy high winds that played havoc with the marchers and color guard," said parent Margaret Mary Luzny.

The band also earned a superior rating and the Reserve Grand Champion award at the OMEA Invitational Oct. 22 at Newark High School.

Reynoldsburg Marching Band Director Jason Gibson said the show features three soloists: senior Caleb Wilson on trombone, senior Kyle Thompson on trumpet and junior Olivia Huntley on flute.

The students embraced the challenges of the complicated show.

"The wind players have masks on the back of their heads, so when they face backfield, the masks expose the evil of Hyde," Gibson said. "Our field commander, senior Cain Warner, plays Jekyll in the opener, taking the step of being the subject of his own experiment.

"Soon he transforms into Hyde and the band takes turns revealing the masks through the rest of the show," he said.

The Color Guard displays both good and evil in black and white costumes and with makeup and hair designs.

"The third number features our percussion section, who musically represents good and evil, while Cain acts out the internal struggle of the two," Gibson said. "The finale ends with the Jekyll collapsing and members of the band singing 16 measures in four-part harmony, before Jekyll revives and shows the audience that Hyde is conquered by holding up his mask and throwing it to the ground."

After the last dramatic chord, the wind players turn backfield one last time to display the masks, leaving the audience with the impression that evil may not have been so easily defeated.

The students proved to be excellent actors and vocalists as well as musicians, Gibson said.

"Several of our students are not just talented instrumentalists, but gifted singers and actors as well," he said. "I remember us sitting in a shelter house at band camp going through the choral part, wondering if it would work, since very few of our kids have a formal singing background."

After a 15-minute session with each voice part, Gibson brought the whole group together.

"They filled up the shelter house with beautiful sound and my staff just looked at each other in awe," he said. "Musically, we have a strong anchor in our senior class, in particular our low brass section. They provide the foundation of our sound and they receive compliments from audience members and judges alike.

"We have a fantastic group of student leaders this year that are a big part of our early success," he said.

Band parents and Reynoldsburg teachers Jim and Renee Coley said the show is "our favorite by far."

"We love the complexity of the music, as well as watching our son, a member of the drumline, be so active in the show," Jim Coley said. "When Jason first unveiled the music, I was really unsure how this would go, but the kids love it and we have enjoyed it more each time we have seen it."

The Marching Pride's motto is "Pain is Temporary; Pride is Forever."

At the first three contests of the season, the band received a superior rating at Licking Valley, finished fourth of seven at Lexington and took third out of four at Teays Valley.

"In each instance, our score was higher than the previous performance and I saw consistent growth with each rehearsal and run-through," Gibson said.

He credits a lot of the band's success to student leaders, his assistant director Korey Black, percussion instructor Gary Sweeney and color guard instructor Stephanie Reece.

"We also have the best booster organization in the entire state that supports the ensemble with the manpower and resources it takes to perform at this level," he said.

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