Alissa Camplin, Arts & Entertainment Editor
For many, Valentine’s Day means elaborate dates and lots of chocolates. For Southerners, it means the reveal of a new marching band production.
At midnight on Feb. 14, hundreds of people anxiously refreshed the Marching Southerners’ webpage, nervously awaiting the show production.
The Marching Southerners will be presenting their 2017 production, a show entitled “Angels Among Us.”
According to the Southerner’s website, “Angels are not confined to the realm of the unknown. They are everywhere, right here among us. In 2017, the Marching Southerners reflect on those people who appear in our lives when we need them the most. While some may no longer be with us, they continue to inspire us, comfort us, and give us hope. These Earth angels lift us up on their wings with every smile, warm memory, and act of kindness. They remind us that miracles happen every day…if we only choose to see them.”
As promised, this production will be an “…[E]motional journey of encouragement and hope.”
The show will include “Fly to Paradise” by Eric Whitacre and “Resplendent Glory” by Rossano Glante as its two works for the band’s opener. “Ready for a Miracle” by Bunny Hull and Art Reynolds will be performed by Jacksonville’s own “earth angles,” the Marching Ballerinas. “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan will be the band’s ballad and it will be dedicated to the angles that are no longer on earth, but still surround “With every smile, warm memory, and act of kindness,” per the show announcement video.
The familiar faces of Dr. John Finley, Dr. David L. Walters and Katie Beth Carter are in the video as well, and “continue to inspire us, comfort us, and give us hope,” even after they’re gone.
Alongside those names are countless others that have built the Southerners to be what that are today.
“We reflect on those people who appear in our lives when we need them most,” is another quote from the video.
“Joyride” by Michael Markowski, and “Hyfrydol Hymn” by Rowland H. Prichard will be featured in the closer of the production.
The band is expected to bring back an old formation accurately described as, “The Wedge.”
The Southerners will begin their preparation during the summer with section rehearsals, and will come together as a whole on Aug. 6, the official start of band camp. Band camp will continue until Aug. 22.