The summer months usually mean a summer vacation for students, but not for the members of the Knox Redskin Brigade. Director Craige Phipps says the marching season and the regular band season is right around the corner.
“We start full-bore at the end of July and run through the end of May,” said Phipps. “We really do try and give them as much time as we can, but even with that, there’s things that need to be done through the summer.”
Phipps said the staff talked about what type of show to do this year and the music from “Cirque du Soleil”came up in conversation. He explains the show’s concept from there.
“Well, you know a lot people have done music from Cirque de Soleil – I don’t necessarily want to do something like that.,” Phipps explained. “However, the thing that I do love about those shows are the contortionists. I love just the physical feats that they accomplish. I said, ‘Why don’t we call the show Contortion and then use some of the music from the various shows?’”
The staff scoured through over 21 Cirque du Soleil shows and found three pieces of music for the show and then gave it to a music arranger for the marching show. Phipps says he loves the arrangement and is excited for full rehearsals to start at the end of July.
The band has increased in size for this year’s marching program.
“Our numbers are really up with the marching band this year,” said Phipps. “Just in the class sign-ups, and I’m finalizing those today, we had 68 requests, which is up from last year. Our guard is back to a level where it hasn’t been in probably six or seven years.”
Phipps will be working with a new assistant director this year.
“The new assistant band director is Darren Day. He’s been the head director at River Forest High School near Valparaiso for the past five years. He’s a saxophone player and I think he’s going to bring a lot of excitement to the kids. He’s got a real passion for teaching,” Phipps said.