INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 14, 2009)—To begin the field show for the marching band from Lafayette High School in Lexington, Ky., a girl skips onto the field, tripping over her own feet a little, as though she hadn’t quite mastered the skill. She puts on this dejected look and demeanor, and all the other kids in her neighborhood seem to shun her, casting her aside into the “she’s not my friend” prison.
Their performance here in the semi-finals at the Grand National Championships on the field of Lucas Oil Stadium is the visual picture of precision: everything from instrument position to body position, and just the evenness of their drill, hits the mark. It’s not always symmetrical, but marchers all seem to be exactly where they’re supposed to be.
About two or three minutes into the show, we have a rare English horn soloist step up to the microphone on the front sideline. And then, to segue into the climactic closing, the band forms a semicircle across the front of the field. This formation expands toward the back and splits open right down the middle.
As the dancers step through the split in their bright green costumes and flags, a sense of will and determination pervades their spirit. They take charge of their lives, setting their own rules, not to shun anybody, especially their own, but rather, to express themselves boldly but in total harmony with others.
In the end, we don’t remain small children for long, but rather, we flourish in every aspect of our lives. On the marching field, that comes down to music and visuals, and this split toward the end of the show could not have made that point any plainer.
Even the girl who started out tripping over her own feet has matured, which, in the course of an eight-minute halftime show, is nothing to sneeze at. She comes into the middle right at the end, now with a few new friends, as all the band members present her. Having started out as someone who couldn’t buy a friend, she jumps for joy at the mere thought of being put on a pedastal like this. Hers is the “metamorphosis” of the show’s title.
The Pride of the Bluegrass is directed by Charles M. Smith and led on the field by drum majors Jaasiel Wilson, Bethany Kirk, Amanda Slone, and Lauren Weittenhiller.