Emotional theme paying off for band

Times-News editorial board

There’s no doubt. The past six years have been a successful ride for the Morton High School marching band. But, perhaps no show has had more meaning than that of this year’s theme.

An homage to “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas,” the marching band has pieced together an emotional performance that reflects the relationship between a young German boy and a Jewish boy who become friends in Auschwitz during the holocaust.

The show has certainly struck a chord with onlookers. A reader called last week to praise the marching band’s willingness to perform such a heavy-hearted show.

He didn’t want to talk so much about the band’s recent success, including the Class 2A crown the band received Oct. 23 at Illinois State University. Moreso, he was interested in pointing out the message the band’s performance sends. The band is addressing a dark moment in this world’s history through a powerful and emotional performance not often witnessed in marching band.

This show is unintentionally changing the face of marching band performances. And, the band has proven that the show’s theme coupled with the band’s performance has not only solidified Morton as a serious contender in competition throughout the state, but one that has the ability to address a controversial topic not often found in high school performances.

This band deserves credit for taking on such a cumbersome performance.

Each year, the marching band program has grown. It has evolved into a downstate powerhouse.

What is even more impressive, however, is its ability to incorporate a serious theme into an otherwise entertaining forum. In doing so, the band has stretched the boundaries of what a marching band is capable of doing.

Just take a look at the results — two grand champion awards, numerous top field show scores and a state trophy. With accolades of that nature, other bands will certainly take notice.

The Morton High School marching band has successfully proven that performances can be so much more than a reflection of a movie, video game or other predictable theme. They can be meaningful, too.  

Congratulations to this year’s band and organizers. Your hard work and determination could change the face of marching band for years to come.