More Musical Interpretation / Drawing Focus – Drill Design Pt. 6

Scott Kurtzweil

More Musical Interpretation / Drawing Focus
Show Design 2007 Pt. 6
Scott Kurtzweil

Welcome to Cuba provides the designer, as well as directors, a myriad of challenges. The Afro-Cuban rhythms present the young musicians with plenty of syncopation and arranger Anthony Messina writes in a great deal of exposed scoring using featuring the woodwind choir, the low brass or trumpet section as solo voices.

Because of the high musical demand placed on the marching members, the intent of much of the Cuba drill is three-fold . . . design good focus for important voices, offer the allusion of high velocity and place a lower demand on the performers. The following sequence provides these three elements.

As this section begins, the primary melodic line is in the low brass with a supporting line in the upper woodwinds. To draw focus to the low brass, they are placed in a “pod” cluster and parked. This removes all visual demand from them and allows them to concentrate exclusively on the music. A lower demand is also placed on the supporting woodwinds as they are put into a simple follow-the-leader that wraps around the low brass pods. This not only makes the drill demand less for the woodwinds but also increases the focus on the low brass by framing them.

Another means of drawing focus to important parts of the stage is to place all or part of the color guard within or around the featured section. In this case, part of the guard ensemble is placed inside the pod cluster to pull the eye right to that part of the field.

In continuing with the musical interpretation, parts of the pod cluster are activated as their voices are added to the mix . . . midvoices.

. . . trumpets . . .

. . . and low brass.Finally this develops into a full ensemble follow-the-leader.

As Paris & Bond, is written to feature the color guard, the object of the drill design is to place the band proper into a strong “concert arc” set that will compliment the lush, ensemble writing of the music arrangement while creating a stage for the color guard.