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Kennedale
Thursday, December 8, 2022

The mystery of the Lost Empire to be presented Friday night by KHS Marching Wildcats

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Each year the KHS Marching Band during football season presents a halftime show based around a carefully selected theme. The program is one that they perform at competitions both invitational and UIL contests. The theme this year is Lost Empire. ?Since it is homecoming with all the other festivities, the band will perform a pre-game show starting at 7:05 p.m.
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Kennedale News talked to KISD Director of Bands, Erol Oktay, about this year?s theme and how the program was developed.
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He said that he starts with finding the right music. {{more}}
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“I started last year [February] wondering what are we doing next year and I started looking. I found this and ? I liked that music, I liked that theme [and I felt] that would fit our band well. These days you just do a google search for band shows, for composers. This music is by Box 6 Productions and I found it on line. It actually has a different name but we changed the name to the Lost Empire because we wanted to do a different kind of show. This is a show that we are kind of keeping vague. The Lost Empire is something that could be anything, anywhere.”
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Oktay continued, “Once you have the music you come up with your show. We decide what we wanted to do with the color scheme, costumes for the color guard and how we want to portrait the Lost Empire. From there we go to the drill writer who writes the drill for us. The drill is when the kids go on the field, that?s the marching drill, those are the pictures (images) we form on the field. I give him ideas on what I visually see when the music tells me something. When the music is strong and bold and in your face, you usually want sharp edges on your forms. When it?s flowing and pretty you want curves and circles and lines that are swaying. So the music dictates what the pictures are on the field.
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“When he [the drill writer] has something, I will sit down with him and make some suggestions and then he will spend a couple of days fixing what I want,” Oktay added. “Then he will print it off for me and for all the kids [band students]. The kids get their own drill book that has all the pictures (images) in it. Each student has a number [assigned] with the picture and as the picture changes they follow their number to set up it up.”
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“These are called drill charts and every kid has to learn their drill chart. It is pretty much like a ‘play book’. It tells the student how many counts he has to get to his next place. The counts will change from picture to picture. They have to commit this all to memory: where they are to be; how many counts to get there, while playing their music which they also have to commit to memory; and, it has to be done together, at the same time with 144 people,” Oktay said with a mix of pride and awe.
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Oktay said that the music has three movements [shifts in music]. He said that they would have the first movement close to being ready at the first football game and then add more each week.
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This week barring bad weather, the Kennedale Marching Wildcat Band will present Lost Empire in all three movements in music but missing several steps at the end of the show that they are still practicing.
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The Marching Wildcats is one the top performing marching bands in the area. Kennedale has earned trips to state competitions 4 out of the last 4 times that the band has been eligible. 3A bands only get to compete at the state level ever other year. This year is an off year but they will compete in several invitational contests as well as the UIL district contest.
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They are looking for wins to add to their already impressive trophy case. ?This show is part of it. Come early and enjoy the show.

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