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The LaRue County Band of Hawks have learned about leadership along with learning notes.
The LaRue County High School marching band enters the season with more difficult music and a new class in which to compete.
The band has moved from Class 3-A to 2-A this year, which gives them a new set of bands to compete against, band director Jaime Smith said. That can be a challenge in itself, facing bands that aren’t familiar to you, Smith said.
As for the music, Smith said this year’s show is more classical and is called “The Starry Night.” It’s built around the painting of the same name by Vincent Van Gogh. It includes visual elements to represent stars and night as well as the color palette of the painting.
Smith said he felt it was a theme that would be universally recognized and one in which he’s interested. The theme was chosen because of a “fascination with the painting,” he said.
Junior Emily Perkins, who plays the mellophone, said she didn’t think she had ever seen a marching band show based on a painting before.
“It is awesome,” Perkins said.
Sophomore Gabby Carson, a drum major, said she really enjoyed the music of the show.
“I think it’s going to be one of the best we’ve ever done,” Carson said.
This year, Smith decided to focus on building the leadership abilities of his older students. He instituted a leadership camp for them, where the older students were given the opportunity to lead the younger ones and “show them the ropes,” he said. This also had the effect of having everyone exposed to marching band by the time they had band camp.
“So far, I think that approach is working,” he said.
Senior Katherine Muster, the color guard captain, said she doesn’t see the struggles from the newer members like she has in the past.
“We’re really progressing really well,” Muster said.
Perkins said the extra camp and experience has been beneficial.
“I feel like we can go to state with what we have,” she said.
Smith said he feels optimistic about the season because of the excitement he’s seeing from the students.
“They’re really go-getters this year,” he said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or email@example.com.