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High school bands preparing for annual Pigskin Jubilee

October 13, 2018

HARLINGEN — Everything has a dark side.

People, things and even music bear a reflection of joy that reveals the sadness that comes with it.

Even an iconically happy song like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” can be recast with a sort of gloomy overture.

But how? Only a fine architect of music can restructure such a song with a shadowy semblance of its original self.

The Harlingen High School Marching Band has managed to do just that, taking a beautiful song and showing its layered personality. They did this by taking the piece “Dreams You Dare to Dream” arranged by Ian Grom and John Mapes and turning it into their show “The Dark Side of the Rainbow.”

“ I feel excited,” said Bridget Horta, 17, who plays piccolo.

“ I think we’re making really good music,” she said. “We’re doing really great.”

Horta and the rest of the band have been working hard since summer getting their show ready for the 76th Pigskin Jubilee UIL marching band contest Oct. 20 in Weslaco. Tonight they’ll participate in a pre-UIL event to compete against San Benito High School, Port Isabel High School, Harlingen High School South and numerous other Valley schools.

Students and band directors are looking forward to the annual event.

“ We’re very excited about the momentum that we’ve built up in the pre-season with marching,” said Shane Shinsato, band director at Harlingen South.

“ The kids are really looking forward to showcasing all their hard work at Pigskin,” he said.

The Hawks are ready. This year’s show at Harlingen South is titled “Cathedrals,” which combines the music of Richard Wagner, Eric Whitacre and other composers.

“ We want to show the audience music from the Impressionist Period that draws on emotion,” Shinsato said. “We felt that the music fit our ensemble pretty well and it would be easy to communicate to the audience visually and audibly.”

Students felt good about their progress.

“ I know the band has been working really hard ever since the summer,” said Drum Major Luis Alisea, 17.

“ This is the best music they could have come up with,” he said. “It has some really good pieces.”

The Cardinals are set to take the stadium, eager to show their stuff at Pigskin.

“ There’s a lot of excitement brewing,” said Band Director Maria Coronado.

She commended her students for accomplishing the pieces with all its changes.

“ It starts off in a very dark, moody setting,” she said. “It gets more into what’s familiar and you realize this is ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. He puts a rock beat into the music.”

The piece challenges the players with “odd” 7/4 time.

“ It becomes really flashy at the end,” she said with a smile.

Bridget was smiling, too.

“ It has some nice little changes to it,” she said.

The two bands got all ones last year and expect to do so again this year.

twhitehead@valleystar.com

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