News Column

Tumwater band to mix classical music with rock in Saturday festival

October 12, 2013


Oct. 12--They're the hosts, so they don't get to compete Saturday in the Tumwater Marching Band Festival.

Still, members of the Tumwater High School Marching Thunderbirds have spent countless hours rehearsing for their exhibition performance at the event.

"Our show this year is a mixture of classical music and Led Zeppelin," said Tumwater High junior Katee Hertter. "We call it Rockzical. It's a cross between classical music and rock."

Fifteen bands from around the state -- including schools from Silverdale, Marysville and Wenatchee -- have registered to compete at the event.

Participating South Sound schools include Shelton, North Thurston and Black Hills.

"They're actually competing with their marching, the music, their synchronization with each other, timing and percussion," said Mike Landowski, president and chairman of the festival. "They're scored and they're judged for a variety of categories."

In its eighth year, the Tumwater Marching Band Festival serves as a fundraiser, and usually features about 1,100 student-musicians. Past festivals have helped raise $5,000 to $7,000 for the Marching Thunderbirds, Landowski said.

The Marching Thunderbirds perform at home football games, a handful of competitions and band camp. It's a blend of music and visual art that takes teamwork and a big-time commitment.

"I kind of like the sense of family that the whole marching band has," Hertter said. "We're all kind of one big group of friends. I don't really call it marching band. I call it marching family."

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433



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