When the Bexley Lion Marching Pride, Bexley High School's marching band, kicks off its fall performance season later this month, highlights will include a reunion of alumni from different generations as well as a Motown tribute.
The band's first halftime show will take place during the home game against Waynesville at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at the high school stadium, 326 S. Cassingham Road. The band's performance will honor the Motown record label, band director Andy Johnson said.
"Our main show is celebrating Motown's 60th anniversary, celebrating the music of Stevie Wonder," he said. "Song titles are 'You Are the Sunshine of My Life' and 'Superstition' and 'Higher Ground' and 'Sir Duke.' "
The band's alumni reunion will take place during the homecoming game at Nov. 1 against Columbus Academy.
Retired band director Jeff Schneider will return to help orchestrate the performance with current and former students, Johnson said.
"We're getting some people that were students of Jeff Schneider, some people that were students of mine, and some people that were students before Jeff Schneider and he worked at Bexley for 28 years," Johnson said. "We've got quite a history there."
While there will be no official theme for the homecoming performance, the music will be nostalgic, Johnson said.
"We'll do songs that were popular with the band program" over the years, he said. "The Doobie Brothers' 'Long Train Running,' we've been doing that for 30 years. We'll do some of our crowd favorites."
A preview of the band's alumni reunion took place during the citywide Independence Day parade in July. Recent Bexley High School graduates Leila Sereki and Brett Lauerhass, now University of Cincinnati students, organized the performance, which included about 20 members, Johnson said.
"They helped spearhead the alumni group. Jeff Schneider conducted them at the July 4 parade," he said. "We had recent graduates all the way up to retirees."
As a prelude to the fall season, the band also performed three "street concerts" at outdoor locations throughout the community earlier this summer to raise money to cover band, choir and orchestra expenses throughout the year. The street concerts were well-received, Johnson said.
"We're grateful for our community support. We had an incredible three nights in August for our street concerts."
Jason Hogue serves as assistant director of the band.
This year's total number of band members, including color guard/flag corps, is 85 members. The band's booster group is Bexley Music Parents.