Celtic themes will be dominating the show this year for the Trojan Pride Marching Band, bringing an atypical style of music to the field.
The band’s color guard started practice on July 18, working 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Bonfils, and drum line starts practice on July 22. The remaining force of the band will collect and begin practice on July 24.
Trojan Pride is sitting at 165 members this year, and the Spirit of Troy Marching Band from the Ninth Grade Center has 70 marchers.
The show for Trojan Pride is called “In Caelum Fero,” and is comprised of music by Karl Jenkins, a commercial/classical composer. Jenkins’ musical group is called Adiemus.
“It’s all kind of new-agey stuff,” said band director Eric Blankenship, adding that the music is more like what a symphonic band would play, rather than the traditional marching band fare.
“It’s kind of new-age Celtic flavor, the color guard uniforms are kind of Celtic looking, and their flags actually have the Celtic knot on them.”
Choreography/drill is written by a Kansas City man Robert Langenfeld, and features lots of curves, flowing lines and a few hard angles.
“He really likes circles and rotations,” Blankenship said.
During the make-up days from snow this year, the students already got to dig into the music, and Blankenship said they are already excited. There’s some challenging tempo aspects to the songs that will make for a complex mix when added to marching, but the “varsity” Trojan Pride musicians will be up to the task.
A big set piece of the second song in the show will be a flugelhorn solo, which kids will be trying out for in front of the entire band during band camp, and in addition to their regular instruments the percussion players will all be wielding hand drums at certain points throughout the show for a unique beat.
The Spirit of Troy band will be doing a more contemporary set: the music of the rock and roll band Chicago.
“The ninth grade tends to do something a little more straightforward,” Blankenship said.
There are a total of nine shows for the Trojan Pride season; the first in-public performance is the parent showcase on Aug. 6. That first show is never as polished as the final one of the season, but it gives the students something to really push towards and improve in preparation for during band camp.
From then on, the band will be running their whole show at every exhibition.
“If you only get nine shots at it, the whole season between football games and festivals, if you’re only going to do it nine times you want to do it all the way through nine times,” Blankenship said. The first competition the band will travel to is Sept. 21, and after that the students will go for five weekends in a row, including Troy Buchanan’s Homecoming.
One difference this year: instead of one of the usual field shows, both the Spirit and Troy and Trojan Pride bands will be marching in the Mizzou Homecoming Parade.
“And we chose to do that because we were looking for an event that we could – instead of taking a band of 70 and a band of 165 – we were looking for an event that we could do with everybody together,” Blankenship said. “So when we march at Mizzou, it will be all  of us.”