Lincoln Weather Shows Way for Oak Creek
Filed under: — ilmarching @ 6:09 pm

by Jim Wallin

Oak Creek High School (WI) was named “Grand Champion” of the Lincoln Way Invitational Field Show held Saturday on the campus of Lincoln Way Central High School in New Lenox, IL. The annual field show drew 21 bands from 3 states in nearly 7 hours of pageantry in motion.

The music of John Barnes Chance propelled Oak Creek H.S. to the Class AAA Championship, and, consequently Grand Champion. Selections included “Incantation and Dance” and “Variations for a Korean Folk Song”. The Asian- themed show was performed with a rich balance and blend of woodwinds and brass. The overall drill book was in step with the music for much of the show and the auxiliary and front ensemble executed their exposed parts with pride and precision. Near the end of the show, several guard members formed a dragon, consisting of the head of a beast and several detachable parts, and marched the creature toward the crowd with smoke billowing from its nostrils. As the music elevated to a hit, the beast broke apart in a well-choreographed move by the guard and aided the band in ending on a high note.

Naperville Central H.S. (IL) was awarded 2nd place overall with a conflicted show based on high crimes committed at sea. With two nearly identical ships on opposite sides of the field (one presenting the pirate flag and the other of the British) the battle waged on in the middle, grabbing the audience one moment and letting go the next. Pulsating and throbbing like a thousand swords falling from the sky, the lines were drawn leaving the audience defenseless as insanity ruled. The guard played a key role in the show, differentiating between sides in their use of rifles, sabres and flags while the band utilized body parts and visual intricacies consistent with the concept. The duel eventually comes to an end with the mid-voices reigning supreme, in an almost celebratory triumph.

Rounding out the top three was Downers Grove South H.S. (IL) who performed a variety of jazz tunes, including “Awayday” by Adam Gorb. With a show concept centering on the city of Chicago, the auxiliary possessed flags symbolizing different city streets common to the area. The effect to this show was reliant on the driving force within its core, ultimately achieved by the interplay between low brass, high brass and percussion.

Earlier in the day, Chicago parochial high school St. Rita of Cascia took top honors in Class A while north-suburban Glenbrook North captured the Class AA Championship with their rendition of “West Side Story”.

Overnight Friday, many parts of the Chicago metro area were covered with rain. Consequently, the significant amount of rain did not make field conditions ideal and while some bands did their best to cope with the difficult footing on the outdoor grass, two of the more reputable bands chose not to. United Township H.S. (IL) and Chicago Heights, IL based Marian Catholic H.S. disappointed the large crowd by choosing to perform their respective shows on a stand-still basis. United Township is a former Bands of America Semi-Finalist while Marian Catholic High School is a seven-time Bands of America Grand National Champion. It was determined by David Macabee, director of bands at United Township and Greg Bimm, director of the Marian Catholic Marching Band that the field was unsafe for their units to march on. The final two bands scheduled in the competition portion of the evening, they were instead removed from competition and given judges feedback only on the applicable music performance caption.

In exhibition, Lincoln Way East High School opened the festivities at 3 p.m., while both returning champion Naperville North and host school Lincoln Way Central concluded the festivities at the ten o’clock hour.

Jim Wallin is a freelance writer and currently serves on the staff of Romeoville (IL) Public Television. He also hosts his own blog, which can be found here. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you may contact Jim at the following email address:

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