NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - Many bands are marching their way to the state finals. Local bands took time Friday afternoon to perfect their routines before the big weekend competition.
Castle is one of 14 marching bands from southwest Indiana heading to the finals. In a field of top talent, you must look for ways to stand out. We're learning the team modified their routine just a few days ago.
In what will be its 29th state appearance in school history, the Castle Marching Knights are headed back to state to compete in “Class A.”
“Watching the kids and seeing how much work that they have put in out there on that field and watching them leave it all out there,” mother Melissa Zehner said. “It’s just amazing how much they can accomplish in a very short amount of time.”
This year they’re taking on the theme “Mad Hope” while using part of the Coldplay hit “Fix You."
“Just crazy things that are going on, the thing that will get us through that is the hope,” band director Tom Dean explained. "We’ve really challenged the students to think about that. They are the hope for the future. Through their future work, they’re going to be the fix that will fix the madness in the world.”
Senior Nick Williams is a drum major, and Saturday night will be his final performance.
“I am so pumped,” Williams told 14 News. “It’s kind of surreal. I don’t even believe that this was our last rehearsal. It hasn’t really set in yet. I feel like I’m going to miss this so much. This is my favorite thing in the entire world.”
Their production started taking shape in the summer, around June, back when heat advisories were happening. Now, practice continues on a frigid November Friday night.
“The kids have to work a lot harder being onions because they are literally in layers,” Zehner laughed.
One final practice let the group make sure everything falls into place.
“We changed the last 40 seconds of the show just three days ago,” Dean added.
Dean tells 14 News Castle has earned second place honors twice but has never won the state title. In his 18-year tenure, he says it’s the students who keep him motivated.
“No matter what, we always have a family that will always be with us and even after band we’re all still always there for each other,” Cherish Zehner stated.
The band takes off at 8:30 Saturday morning. They will perform at 9 p.m. eastern Saturday. Four different classes that will compete.
In all 40 bands around the state are competing. More than a quarter of those are from the Tri-State, including a record three from the EVSC.