Alumni Set the Stage in Southington
The Southington High School Marching Band, led by UCMB alumni Jeff Shaw ’82 (SFA, trumpet), Music Director, and Sara Ossias ’04 (SFA, mellophone), Assistant Director of Bands, is bringing back its indoor show “Surround Sound” for three performances beginning on March 8.
“Surround Sound” is a unique marching band experience presented on stage in the tradition of the Broadway hits “Blast,” “Stomp” and “Drumline LIVE.” It’s a musical theater production of choreographed percussion, brass and color guard. The show features more than 80 performers and a variety of musical styles.
“Surround Sound” is not an annual event – this will be the sixth time the marching band has hosted it since 2003. Last year, it was brought back to make up for the cancellation of the 2011 Music of the Knight event (which the UCMB was invited to perform in exhibition at) after the infamous October snowstorm. Winter weather has caused some trouble for this year’s show as well, but not to the same degree.
“We’ve lost a few rehearsals thanks to snow, but usually you don’t have to worry as much about weather with this one,” said Shaw. “It’s easier to manage, but still a lot of moving parts because this is an hour of music.”
The show actually began as a way to make up for a less than ideal season due to weather conflicts. “The fall of 2002 was a difficult season. Any time we gained some momentum, we had a ton of rain. Several shows were cancelled and states were held on a Monday that year,” says Shaw as he reflects on the first time the idea for “Surround Sound” came about. “I was discussing how we could bring everyone’s spirits up with my seniors that fall. We thought we could look into doing an indoor “Blast” type show.”
This year’s show is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The theme is “Knightmare on Pleasant Street” and will feature monster-themed music ranging from the movie “Young Frankenstein” to Michael Jackson. “We’re breaking [out] all the tricks for this one” said Tony Leone ’03 (BUS, trumpet) who is helping with the visual design of the show.
“This show is going to top all previous Surround Sound performances with a creative and fun twist. This show is a must see!” said Ossias who was one of the 2003 UCMB Drum Majors.
There has long been a connection between the Southington and University of Connecticut bands. Shaw and his wife Laura ’82 (CLAS, color guard) have been with the program for almost 30 years.
Other UConn band alumni who are a part of the show’s staff include RJ Shaw ’04 (BUS, trumpet), Matt Thompson ’10 (ENG, drumline), and Meghan Rickard ’11 (CLAS, mellophone). They are helping with the planning and development of the show, as well as making sure rehearsals run smoothly.
The performance will take place on Friday March 8 and Saturday March 9, both performances at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday March 10 at 6:00 p.m. in the Southington High School Auditorium, 720 Pleasant St.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and can be purchased from “Surround Sound” performers, The Music Shop of Southington and Play It Again Sports of Southington. If seats are still available, tickets will also be sold at the door. For more information about the Southington High School Marching Band, visit their website at shsmarchingband.com or facebook.com/shsbands.