HHS marching band premieres 2017 halftime show

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Despite some wet weather that caused a change in scenery, the Helena High School Marching Band still put on quite a show when they premiered the 2017 halftime performance for the first time on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

The premiere show was meant for families and friends to get a first glimpse of how much time and work the band members have put in in preparation for the 2017 football season.

Originally scheduled to take place inside Husky Stadium, the premiere was moved inside to the HHS gymnasium in an effort to keep uniforms clean and to preserve the playing field.

The band wasn’t able to march or perform formations but all 215 band members played music and those in attendance got to hear what would be performed during halftime this season.

“You won’t be able to see the motion and the drill but it will give you a chance and bait your interest a little bit to give you a reason to want to come back to a game and watch what happens,” HHS band director Jeff Burnside said.

The theme of the 2017 halftime show is “Beyond the Emerald Curtain” that featured highlights from the musical “Wicked.”

The HHS Band performed “No One Mourns the Wicked,” “Dancing Through Life,” and “Defying Gravity” in addition to the HHS fight song and other commonly played songs during a football game.

Burnside said the band had an increase of 40 members from last year to this year bringing the total number to 215.

“Tonight is a work in progress,” Burnside said. “If you got a chance to see the band at all during band camp or any of the rehearsals since then you’ll hopefully be able to see the progress that they have made from the beginning. I’ll tell you that we’re extremely pleased with where they are, the way they look, the choreography, the music and this is one of the hardest working groups we’ve had and they go at it.”

Burnside said it took plenty of practice and hard work in the summer to perfect the halftime show and during the season there could be even more things added.

“There are 56 sets in our show, which is not a huge number, until you realize that for each set there’s an average of 16 counts,” Burnside said. “Every count that they move is like another step so you can do the math.”

The first regular season football game is Friday, Sept. 1, as Helena will take on Mountain Brook at home.