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March into summer: Nearly 170 band students to perform ‘Hooray for Hollywood!’ Thursday

WORTHINGTON -- Lights... camera... action!Get ready for all of that and more when the nearly 170 members of the Worthington High School "Spirit of Worthington" Trojan marching band debut their brand-new "Hooray for Hollywood!" parade show in thre...

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Worthington marching band students rehearse the 2016 “Hooray for Hollywood!” parade show. Submitted photo

WORTHINGTON - Lights… camera… action!
Get ready for all of that and more when the nearly 170 members of the Worthington High School “Spirit of Worthington” Trojan marching band debut their brand-new “Hooray for Hollywood!” parade show in three appearances later this week.

First up is a “Meet the Trojans” gig, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday on Clary Street in front of WHS. Coupled with the Thursday performance is a fundraising barbecue sponsored by the Worthington Area Music Boosters Association (WAMBO), with food service starting at 5:30 p.m.
On Friday, the Trojans travel to Lake Crystal for the competitive 6 p.m. “Battle of the Bands” parade, and on Saturday they’ll march in the Fulda Wood Duck Festival parade.
“It’s ben a terrific camp, and the band will be ready on Thursday,” promised WHS band director Jon Loy. His students have been learning their new show since May 31, rehearsing from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each weekday.
The Hollywood theme is Loy’s brainchild. He thought of it over a year ago and is delighted to see it finally coming to life.
“It’s ambitious, but things are really coming together,” he said.
“The props for this show - including over-sized Oscar statues, movie reel strips, mirrored plumes and a giant ‘curtain,’ all designed by Judie Johnson - enhance the show and represent various Hollywood elements.”
With the show’s primary tunes (arranged for WHS by Jeremy Hegg, with a percussion book by WHS alumnus Matt Tims) being “Hooray for Hollywood,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and the 20th Century Fox fanfare, Loy has another ambitious feat in mind: a November 2017 band trip to Hollywood, Calif.
“We’re heading to the Hollywood Christmas Parade on Hollywood Boulevard,” Loy explained.
When this fall’s competitive marching band begins, Loy plans to roll out new color guard uniforms reminiscent of vintage MGM ushers’ attire. Additionally, tuxedoed attendants will wheel the Oscar statues along the parade route.
“We’ll even present an oversized golden envelope to the judges at the show’s end, just as if an Academy Award winner were being announced,” shared Loy.
“And there’s a drum break I’m really excited about featuring.”
There’s been plenty of musical action this month at Worthington Middle School (WMS), as well, with the sixth- through eighth-grade band students also practicing their steps and skills.
“Our band camp runs from June 6 through June 17,” explained Mike Andersen, director of the WMS group. “We have 126 students involved with summer band and 165 anticipated for band this fall.”
Building on a 20+ year tradition, Andersen (with support from fellow WMS music teacher and fifth grade band instructor Jeanette Jenson) will take the middle school troops to Valleyfair Friday, where they will perform their “Star Wars” show in the amusement park before taking advantage of the rides themselves.
“It’s safe to say that most of the kids really enjoy the water rides in particular,” said Andersen, noting the Star Wars parade piece features recognizable selections from “Duel of the Fates,” “The Jedi Steps” and “Star Wars (Main Theme).”
“The new Star Wars movie has received a lot of attention and been popular with the kids,” explained Andersen.
Andersen, whose students eventually move on to fill the ranks of Loy’s marching Trojans, says he likes the summer band camp period for a few reasons.
“It allows me to keep the kids playing for a couple additional weeks in the summer so there’s not as much rust to remove in the fall,” he said.
“Also, it gives the older students a chance to show the younger ones how things are done, and they in turn keep the older kids on their toes.”
Whether putting his musicians through their paces in the WHS parking lot or gymnasium this month or challenging them to polish their new music, Loy is pleased with how his “older kids” have been responding to the demands and standards asked of them.
“This has been a very hard-working group,” acknowledged Loy, who has five student band commanders - Chris Nelsen, Megan Wass, Tanner Nordseth, Makayla Ebbers and Max Langerud - plus an assistant, Jon Wendt, to help him corral his large ensemble.
“One of our goals has been to try to make a large band still feel small enough that everyone can see how their contribution is making a difference,” he added.
This weekend’s performances aside, Loy has six parade appearances scheduled for the Trojans next fall, starting with Worthington’s own King Turkey Day Parade and ending with the Anoka Halloween Parade on Oct. 31. Luverne’s Tri-State Band Festival (Sept. 24), the Festival of Bands in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Oct. 1), and two other South Dakota parades will fall in between.
For now, Loy is eager to see “Hooray for Hollywood” rolled out for the first time.
“We’re looking forward to getting judges’ comments,” he said, “and getting it on the street.”

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