Chippewa Marching Band, ensembles to play in Band-O-Rama Friday

The Chippewa Marching Band is usually seen by students on the field in Kelly/Shorts Stadium out in the open on game day for football.

For the Band-o-Rama "Prisms" event, though, they will perform inside Staples Family Concert Hall Friday for the fifth-annual Band-O-Rama concert along with a few different ensembles.

"The idea is for each of the bands to play a portion of the program," CMU School of Music Director of Music Events John Jacobson said. "In between each of the bands, a small ensemble will play."

Jacobson said all sorts of musical styles are covered during the event, which is from 7 to 9 p.m. and is $5 for the public and $3 for students and senior citizens. Tickets will be available at the door.

"People look forward to it because it's the only time each year that we get the different bands together," he said.

He said people come to the event to get the chance to hear a group like the marching band in a different setting.

"It's a different sound inside," he said. "It's a treat."

The decision to move the event into Staples Family Concert Hall instead of it occurring at Plachta Auditorium was for a couple of reasons, Associate Director of Bands James Batcheller said.

"To provide a little more intimate setting," Batcheller said. "To give it a try in our own space. We have some stage pieces that might work better in the hall."

He said some of the pieces are more suited for playing indoors than outside.

The marching band, who will be conducted by Batcheller, will be performing a Jonathan Nichol arranged "Revolution" by Marc Mellits along with Ambidextranata part one "Souvenir" by Gary Shocker.

"The way we're doing the alma mater (fight song) is much quieter than what people would expect to hear out on the field," he said.

He said there will be students from different area high schools attending the event.

"There are students in high schools who come, and they see what we do here," he said.

South Lyon junior Tony Jokinen, who has played in two previous Band-O-Rama events and will be performing in his third Friday, plays the center snare in the Chippewa marching band drumline.

Jokinen said the band does a lot of preparing for the event, and the band has played many of the pieces they are playing at the event before for different occasions.

"The week leading up to Band-O-Rama, we review the various songs we will perform to refresh our memories," he said.

Jokinen said the drumline makes a few adjustments when playing inside.

"We bring all of our stick heights down, making it a lot quieter when we play inside, so it's not too overwhelming," he said.

He said he enjoys the event because of the closeness between the band and audience.

"Band-O-Rama is really exciting because the crowd is up close, and it makes the performance that much better," Jokinen said.


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