7-11-02 Latest News

Marching To The Beat Of Mordor
Xoanon @ 9:57 am EST

Crackshot Archer Elf here, with a little report on some LotR happenings in my hometown. Thought it was very interesting, and thought it could make a good story. If you email me back, please send to hmelliot@shaw.ca (I had to use my dads email and I dont think hed be impressed getting mail from TPTB like I would ;D)

A while ago I posted on the message boards about a marching band, the Stetsons Show Band of Calgary, Alberta (I hope they dont mind me naming them take out the name if you feel it inappropriate to use without their permission) whom I saw perform LotR as their field show this year, mentioning that I'm in a marching band myself, and am always around the competitions. Well, I just finished Fanfare, our biggest competition of the year, and just wanted to return and drool a bit more over their show.

Its just great to see what a group of people can do with a story and music such as that. It was truly an awesome show, and the band was rewarded with second place for it (which of course *I* think is bogus) The music, the choreography, it fit perfectly with the essence of the story. I just wanted to share some of the really cool highlights with you all so you could sort of imagine what creative minds this band's directors must have had.

It started off wonderfully, with the drum major (sort of a conductor) dressing up like Gandalf. The best part was when he put on his robe and beard everyone immediately knew what was going on. I heard a few shouts of "We love you Gandalf! from the crowd, and I had fun joining in the realization that others there might just be as LotR geeky as me ;)

And so the show began... It started with a happy tune that was definitely something hobbitish (sorry, I don't have the titles of the actual songs they played) The colourguard (the performers with the flags, etc) were dressed in little tunics like hobbits, and at one point they all held up this huge maypole over three circles of revolving band members with Gandalf holding the pole in the middle. It looked just like Bilbo's party in the movie, and the music went along with that idea. It was a really neat effect.

Next all of the "hobbits" fell asleep, but Gandalf came along and woke one up, handing her a green cloak (just like Frodo's!!!! *hyperventilating with excitement and a slight tinge of jealousy for that girl's Frodo solo*) She looked just perfect standing next to Gandalf because the drum major happens to be very tall and the costume made him even taller. Just the picture of the tall wizard handing the tiny hobbit the cloak reminded me of a scene from the movie and of my own imaginings.

Then another hobbit (Bilbo I suppose) handed Frodo the huge golden Ring. (They did such a good job on the ring, it even had a real inscription although the size of a hula hoop) but Gandalf forced the hobbit to drop it. As soon as Gandalf turned his back however, Frodo picked the ring back up very sneakily and proceeded in dancing a wonderful solo with it.

Next came Frodo's flight from the Nazgul, the best part. The remainder of the colourguard dressed in long black cloaks and proceeded in chasing Frodo across the field, with the band members screaming up a storm. Every time one was touched by a black rider they fell to the ground, only to be revived by other band members. They pulled it off so well; it gave me a real feeling of terror. Then the riders surrounded Frodo at the height of the crescendo and slipped a dark cloak onto her before backing off. It gave the illusion that Frodo disappeared, and looked mighty good.

They played a few other evil, creepy selections that I think represented the Mines of Moria, and Mt Doom.

The end was so sad that I was almost in tears. I think the music must be from the Grey Havens, and was so heart wrenching. At the very end, all the colourguard returned to being hobbits and crowded around Frodo who had returned, but Gandalf guided the hobbit up onto a box, were he drew a dark shade in front of her. I happened to be watching the show from the back, so I saw her change into a band uniform and sneak into formation behind the shade, but from the audiences point of view it looked as though she disappeared into nothingness when Gandalf dropped the shade and Frodo was nowhere to be seen.

I think Ive talked about this too long now, so I'll stop and give your eyes a break ;) I just enjoyed their show to incredible proportions, and I'm a tad bit jealous that I'm not in their band's age group (drat those birth years! I missed LotR *pout*) but I hope they get all that they deserve when the go to Japan on tour. The second place was not deserved by them in my opinion, but then I'm not a judge. So if any of you TORN sibs are in Japan this summer, who knows, you may see them perform :)

BTW Just in case you wanted to know, my band got THIRD!! *jumps up and down in an ecstatic little dance* Just have to congratulate myself and my band for making it so high, and only losing to the LotR show by .3 of a mark, who also lost first place because of a .1 difference! (yeah I know, totally irrelevant comment but go me!)