ELIZABETHTOWN — Since the first of August, the East Bladen High School Marching Eagles have been hard at work perfecting their musicianship. Under the leadership of band director Steven Moore and Drum Major Desiree Moore, the Marching Eagles have begun to rebuild a great band program.
And one that is ready for competition.
While the current members of the band are new to competition, Moore says the band is heading in the right direction. That has been proven with the Marching Eagles recent appearance at several band competitions where they earned bragging rights. And that's quite an accomplishment for a group of musicians that have only been performing together for a couple of months.
For the first time since 2007, the Marching Eagles are back in action. The familiar beat of the drums can once again be heard on the football field and in the gym of East Bladen High School.
The band competed in the 2013 Stallion Classic at South Columbus High School and received an overall rating of Excellent. They came in third place overall in class 2A competition. Not to be outdone by other competing bands, the Marching Eagles also took home the School Spirit Award.
This past weekend the Marching Eagles competed in the Brick Capital Classic in Lee County. The band received third place overall in Class 1-A competition, competing against 17 other marching bands from North Carolina and Virginia. The band received an overall rating of Excellent while Drum Major Desiree Moore received second place.
An average competitive marching band will produce a competition/halftime show anywhere from seven to 12 minutes long. The music for the show is either purchased from stock or developed specifically for the band. Once the music is selected, a drill is created to accompany the music, in which the marching band transitions into different formations and sequences throughout the show. Props are often used to add to the visual element, and a routine is choreographed for the color guard to perform alongside the musicians.
To create a successful competition show, marching band students often spend hours practicing. There are before-school practices, after-school practices, Thursday night rehearsals and football games. There are parades some weekends, then day-long competitions in October, sometimes hours away.
“It's a lot of work,” said Moore. “The countless number of hours these young people spend on the field is amazing. I am honored to be a part of their high school band and music experience.”
Moore received his master of music in music performance from Florida State University and both a bachelor of arts in music education and a bachelor of arts in jazz performance from North Carolina Central University.