With a new year comes a new style

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2016

Early in July, the Poplarville High School marching band hosted its annual band camp, experimenting with a new style of music similar to that played in Band of America competitions. Band Director Josh Tidwell said the camp’s purpose was to prepare incoming freshman and get every member on the same page. He said they covered a lot of ground and got a head start on preparing for this year’s halftime shows and competition performances.

“Everything went really well during our camp. The kids are learning a whole new style and are soaking it in very well. It’s great to see the kids gearing up so early in the season,” said Tidwell.

In previous years, the marching band played what Tidwell called “a traditional style” of music, but this year is going to be different.

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“In previous years I would order music and then tinker with it to come up with what we would play. However this year, the music is 100 percent custom-made,” said Tidwell.

The new style Tidwell is experimenting with is a more modern and competitive style; one he thinks will help the marching band receive its first marching band superior ratings in more than six years.

“The judges want to hear this type of music. It’s relatively new to me but with the help of my assistant band director, I think our group can achieve that goal,” said Tidwell.

To Tidwell, his assistant band director, Andrew Demolat, is going to be a key factor in earning superior scores and possibly compete for state recognition.

“I am excited about this year’s new approach and style of music we will be playing. Anytime you can make something work and finally see it transition out on the field, it makes it worthwhile. This new style is tailored to the kids so I am excited about the future of this program,” said Tidwell.

In addition to the introduction of a new style, Tidwell says the community can expect more creative props for this year’s theme. The title of the show for this year is called the “Krewe 2016” and is a Mardi Gras based theme.

“This theme is not going to be what people expect from a Mardi Gras show. It’s going to be a fun and exciting show,” said Tidwell.

To help fund travel expenses, Tidwell said the marching band is having their 46th annual calendar fundraiser in the near future. The marching band will be selling these community band calendars for $8 each. To purchase a calendar with family and birthday listings included, it is an extra $2 per order.

Tidwell invites local businesses to participate in the fundraiser by purchasing ad spots in the calendar. Prices are $35 for a half-spot ad and $50 for a full block ad. Businesses interested in ordering ad space can email Tidwell at jtidwell@poplarvilleschools.org.