The beginning of the new school year and another football season undoubtedly wouldn't be the same without the pomp and pageantry provided by marching bands.
This year, the Upper Arlington High School Golden Bear Marching Band will be about a dozen students larger than last year, and band director Todd Fessler said he's excited to showcase the size and talents of the group.
"The band is the biggest it has been in a while with around 140 members," Fessler said. "We will perform five different shows this season -- one for each home game."
The band polished its skills by attending Camp Swoneky in Oregonia from July 29 through Aug. 3.
The camp is run by the Salvation Army, Fessler said.
"We learn all of our fundamentals for the season throughout the week," he said. "With our fundamentals, we get pregame and our first halftime show on the field."
The band's performances at home games will be:
* Sept. 6 vs. Dayton Belmont, the Music of Queen
* Sept. 20 vs. Westerville South, Script Bears
* Oct. 11 vs. Hilliard Davidson, the Music of Motown
* Oct. 18 vs. Marysville, the Music of the Blues Brothers
* Nov. 1 vs. Dublin Coffman, the Senior Show
"We go through an extensive planning process starting in the spring to decide what will be challenging musically for our students and appealing to the football Friday-night crowds," Fessler said.
Other scheduled performances will include the Golden Bear Bash (Sept. 1), the Labor Day Arts Festival (Sept. 2), the Indoor Concert (Nov. 7) and a Disney Parade performance down Main Street at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida (March 14).
"The Indoor Concert will be a recap of the season and all performances throughout the year on Nov. 7," Fessler said. "We would love to see a large part of the community to celebrate the band and what we have accomplished throughout the season.
"We (also) have a trip coming up in spring to Disney World where we are honored to represent the Upper Arlington community."
Golden Bear Marching Band Booster President Liz Mueller noted for those who missed the band's annual Blitz fundraiser Aug. 18, the band still will appreciate support throughout the school year to help fund everything from sheet music to the Florida trip.
She said people can learn more about the band and ways to support it through its new website.
"For the first time this year, we will have a website available for online donations that are specific to the Blitz," Mueller said.
The site is uamusic.org.
Fessler said he hopes the students in this year's band will mature and steadily improve musically as they help to lift the spirits of the football team, fellow students and fans.
"We are hoping to continue to grow musically this year and increase the enrollment of the band program," he said. "We are excited to showcase the band this season on Friday's with our four values of 'pride, power, spirit and attitude.' "