The Gahanna Lincoln High School Golden Lions Marching Band plans to bring "Joy to the World" on the field when it performs the Three Dog Night song Sept. 8 as part of a tribute to the band.

"Our two big shows -- the ones we combine for our festival show -- is music from Three Dog Night," band director Rob Cebriak said.

The American rock band that formed in the late 1960s is celebrating its 50th year of existence this year.

"A bunch of band members and I went to (the Columbus Symphony's) Picnic with the Pops, and we were with members of the original band," he said.

During its first home performance Sept. 8. the 196-member band will perform "Joy to the World" and "Shambala." Part two of the tribute will be Sept. 29 with the songs, "Never Been to Spain" and "Eli's Coming."

" 'Eli's Coming' will be fun because it's a specially arranged version just for our marching band," Cebriak said. "We will combine the entire thing when we go up to the festival in Massillon on Sept. 23."

In addition to the Three Dog Night shows, he said, the band also will perform a combined show with the New Albany band Sept. 15 at Gahanna Lincoln, the night the school's football teams play each other.

"It's the first time I know of that Gahanna will do a combined show with both bands on the field and marching at the same time," Cebriak said.

Cebriak and New Albany band director Darren Falk are friends, and Falk is a 1993 Gahanna Lincoln graduate.

"This year is a little different with the big thing being the combined show with New Albany," Cebriak said. "Darren had the idea of doing a combined show, so it managed to happen this year. They're going to come to one of our practices that week. The two bands will practice together on a Thursday night."

Because the show is near Patriot Day on Sept. 11, it will be a patriotic show.

"We'll do songs for each of the five arms of the branches of service," Cebriak said. "We will spell out 'Army' and 'Navy' on the field. We'll do a color presentation at the end."

The show will feature about 300 band members, 29 color guard members and a 20-yard-long flag.

Falk said he has crossed paths with Cebriak many times, including when Cebriak was a teaching assistant.

"I've known him since '91 or '92," Falk said. "I was in the band in Gahanna as a student. Then as a Gahanna alum, I stayed in touch with their staff."

Falk said he and former Gahanna band director Greg Miller were in one another's weddings.

"Besides being neighbors, we have lots of reasons to do something fun together," Falk said.

He said the New Albany band, along with the color guard, numbers 120 students.

"We've never done anything this intricate before," Falk said. "We're excited and our students are looking forward to it."

In addition to the combined show and Three Dog Night tributes, Cebriak said, the Alumni Show will be Oct. 13, and Senior Night is scheduled Oct. 20.

The Pops Concert, featuring everything the band has performed from the season, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla