DUNLAP, IN. - The LaVille High School High School Royal Regiment started the performing season at the prestigious Concord Marching Band Invitational.
The Lancers came away with a third place finish out of five Class D schools.
Royal Regiment Director Nick Lieto understands that various emotions come with the week before the first show.
"The week before the first show is always one that's filled with excitement and jitters," said Lieto. "We have our entire show on the field, but only performed the first three movements because we needed some more time musically and visually before putting the last movement on. Virtually no one has their whole show on the field this early so we are not behind. We really just focused on refining 1-3 while continuing to refine movement four. We also rehearsed for 4 hours in the morning on Saturday before the show. After that we loaded up the trailer/truck ate, and left! Its a very busy time, but also extremely exciting."
This year's theme is "Second Star To The Right", which is the story of Peter Pan.
The show is very visual with a lot of large props that need to be moved on and off the field. The setting includes big trees, along with a big storybook. There are also backdrops with starry nights.
". . . The kids performed with confidence, grace, and professionalism. I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome and am excited about continuing to refine this show!" said Lieto of Saturday's performance.
There are judges placed on the field and in the press box that use recording devices to share various points of view on what the performance is like and areas that are of weakness and strength.
"The judges commentary was EXTREMELY helpful to us in improving our show," said Lieto. "The neat thing about being a competitive band is that your show may look one way one week, and then taking suggestions into account from judges, completely different the following. Not different concept that is, just adding more visual and musical moments to enhance. As far as things to enhance our show we definitely need to work on endurance training and clarifying certain visual aspects. This year we started with a higher score than last year! Our motto is we don't compete to win trophies and captions; we compete to be better at what we do. We work every week to improve the show, to refine visual technique, and overall be better musicians. If we focus on improving our score every year, winning will follow suit!"
When asked what he felt was a shining moment of the first show of the season, Lieto replied: "The shining moment for us was definitely making top three in class D! Also hearing that our score was higher than last year's to start off with!"
Lieto realizes that this is just the first show and there are three more to follow before the ISSMA contest season begins at Lafayette Jefferson High School on October19th.
"Areas of improvement would be adding more characterization/ commitment to conceptual nuance of the show, and creating more visual opportunities," explained Lieto. "We'll be adding those things for our competition this week as well as our final movement! Also a given is refining and cleaning music/drill and existing visuals. Honing in on marching technique especially in the slower tempos as well as traversing. That means that your shoulders are flat to the sideline while traveling side to side. These are all things to refine as the season progresses.
"We are so excited to develop this show," continued Lieto. "I want to say a special thank you to my marvelous season staff, Danielle Lieto (instrumental assistant), Olivia Urban (Color Guard), Tim Gunderson and Chase Tompkins (Percussion), and Derrick Zaczek (Design/Visual). A great big thank you to all our wonderful volunteers and truck/trailer pullers! Thank you to Eastlund Wendell for jumping in and saving us in an emergency! Another big thank you to all my parents who donated water and snacks for the kids at the competition, as well as those who chaperoned!"
The LaVille Royal Regiment will perform again on September 28 at the Penn High School Carnival of Bands.
The band department has pre-sale tickets available through Friday, September 27. Tickets are $6 each, with half the proceeds returning to the Royal Regiment! The Royal Regiment will also be at Plymouth on October 5, Lakeshore Stevensville Oct. 12, and ISSMA Regionals at Lafayette Jefferson Oct. 19.