8/12/2017 4:00:00 PM Busy fall in store for Marching Oaks
Music City, Dollywood, new uniforms, two band shows all in mix
Members of the Oak Hill High School Marching Oaks Band displayed their new uniforms during their annual Picture Day last Tuesday at Davis Stadium. Director of Bands Bryce Werntz and the band members have been working hard in recent weeks preparing for a very busy fall season that will include a trip to Nashville, hosting two band shows, and performing five different halftime shows at football games. (Telegram Photo By Red Thompson, Jr.)
The Oak Hill High School Oaks Marching Band, along with the OHHS Choir, will be performing at the historic Ryman Auditorium (pictured) in Nashville, Tennessee in November.
A trip to Tennessee in November, new uniforms, two band shows, a performance at the Ohio Statehouse and five halftime shows are all in the mix for the 2017-2018 edition of Oak Hill High School (OHHS) Marching Oaks Band. In addition, veteran Director of Bands Bryce Werntz reports the band is bigger this year and now boasts 75 members strong.
There are two trips scheduled this season with the big one being set for Nov. 17-22 to Nashville, Tennessee for four days with a one-day stop at Dollywood on the way home. The OHHS Choir will also participate in the trip.
Werntz pointed out there are few better places to learn about and experience music than Nashville, which is the capital of country music and is known as "Music City USA." OHHS Band members will be touring both the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House and be attending a performance of the Grand Ole Opry while also getting the opportunity to perform some country tunes on the Ryman Stage. He stated this trip will be a multiple-learning experience as band members will be soaking in some history as well.
The Ryman is one of America's most historic and popular venues as it is now 125 years old. Some of the greatest singers in country-music history have started their careers there. Werntz is also excited about the students seeing a Grand Ole Opry performance. The show dates back to 1925 and is also America's longest running radio show. It features not only country, but folk, bluegrass and gospel musical acts as well.
"Our kids will see how it works and what it is," said Werntz. "I am sure many of our kids have heard of it, but do not know what it is. Now, they will have an opportunity to see the Opry firsthand."
"The band and choir will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform on the Opry stage," Werntz noted. "They will also be going to the Frisk Art Museum and Nashville Zoo."
To conclude the trip, the band will travel eastward to the Dollywood theme park and will be performing a tribute to Dollywood's namesake, famed singer Dolly Parton, and her long career. Dolly's career began in the 1960s and still continues today. She has been a singer, songwriter, movie star and businesswoman.
But much will happen before the trip to Tennessee. The band members will be traveling to the state capital of Columbus Thursday, Aug. 17 to perform at the Ohio Statehouse. Their planned show will feature a mix of the band music they have been learning along with some patriotic songs.
Werntz and the band are also planning five original halftime shows for the upcoming season.
"Our first show will feature a pop show, the second game will be a movie show featuring some special effects, the third game will be an 80s rock show, then we will have our homecoming show, and the Dolly Show for the last game," he said.
The band will also host its 12th Annual Band Show on Saturday, Sept. 9 which will feature the Oak Hill, Jackson, Waverly, Unioto, Wheelersburg, and Adena high school bands and the famed Ohio University Marching 110, which includes some Jackson County members.
The Marching Oaks will also host a second band show on Saturday, Sept. 30, which will be known as the Oak Hill Band Fall Festival of Bands with the aim of making it an annual event. This year, it will feature the Alexander, Portsmouth Clay, Federal Hocking, and Olentangy Orange high school bands as well as the band from Otterbein College.
Werntz also stated he is proud of the progress the OHHS Music Department has made and appreciates all the support it has received from parents, business and community members.