Music In Motion festival promotes future musicianship

By Chase Myers

Countless hours of marching, standing at attention, playing and holding an instrument are just some of the things that go into a high school marching band’s preparation for a show.

The Music in Motion festival was held on Saturday at Saluki Stadium. The competition featured performances by 17 high school marching bands from Missouri and Illinois.

Festival and competition organizer George Brozak, decided to revive the event from many years ago when the competition was a regular yearly occurrence.

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The event was discontinued after the stadium was rebuilt and the department took a shift in a new direction, Brozak said.

“My first year, when I heard that that had been the case, I wanted to resurrect it,” he said. “So this is the fifth year of bringing it back.”

Different from traditional marching band competition, Music in Motion is considered a festival. It allows bands a relaxed environment in case they don’t necessarily want to compete, but still perform in front of a crowd.

“If somebody wants to come and just get feedback from the judges and get comments on what they are doing well or what they can improve, I wanted them to have that experience … without having to compete,” he said.

Bands that did not participate in the competition portion were performing for “exhibition,” where they would still receive comments on their performances.

The competition had three classes based on school and band size; class C being the smallest class, class B consisting of medium sized bands and class A with the largest amount of members.

One of the main focuses of the event was the promotion of healthy competition, participation and to promote musicianship after high school.

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Every group at the event received a customized participation plaque, which allows everyone to take something back to their school, win or lose.

“We do these participation plaques and we put a little more money into them because we want them to take home something meaningful,” he said. “Obviously everyone can’t win everything but we do that for every band, so 17 of them are going to take these plaques home.”

Aside from the different class awards, a grand champion was awarded to the band that the judges thought performed best for the entire day, which was given to Dunlap High School Varsity Band, a class A marching band.

“It was great,” Dunlap High School band director Jill Potts said. “Especially because we felt like we had our best show of the season.”

One of the class C bands that competed was Carterville High School, under the direction of Nicholas Williams.

This is Williams’ first year as band director for Carterville High School. He previously directed in Murphysboro and served as the director for Murphysboro Middle School.

“The transition has gone smooth and I cannot thank Carterville Unit School District #5 enough,” Williams said. “We had a very successful season. The kids placed at every show they went to this fall including winning some best music and best visual awards in Edwardsville and Charleston.”

During the event, participating high school students get a feel of what it is like to perform on a university field and allows SIU to showcase their facilities in hopes of drawing some students to enrolling in following years, Brozak said.

“My other goal is to get these kids on campus. I want them to come to SIU and hopefully be in the marching Salukis,” Brozak said. “I think it’s a win-win, I don’t see it negative in any way for anybody.”

The event was well received by participating schools and was complemented by participating directors as a very well organized festival and competition.

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @chasemyers_DE or at 536-3311 ext. 273

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