Oct. 08--LENOIR -- The South Caldwell Spartan Regiment marching band brought home the top trophy and a collection of other awards from this weekend's Third Annual Foothill Invitational Marching Band Competition in Olin.
The awards won in their 3A class included first place in class, first place music, first place effect, first place marching, first place drum major, first place percussion and second place guard.
But the prize trophy was the Grand Champion award, given to the band with the highest score for the entire competition, regardless of class. The competition, hosted by North Iredell High School, featured 13 other bands from around central and western North Carolina, including West Caldwell, Hickory, Porter Ridge and Ledford High Schools.
"Now You See It ..." is the band's show this year, a dark, mysterious homage to magic shows, said Jason Childers, director of bands at South Caldwell.
"What we set out to do was almost as if you were going to a magic show. We wanted to create three or four really big illusions on the field and put music behind it to combine the audio and visual elements you would see at a magic show," he said.
Those visual effects include a flute player who disappears from one side of the field and reappears on the other, mirrored boxes to create illusions and the entire band's disappearance at the end of the show.
"We put a bunch of visual and musical illusions in the show," Childers said. "The music has a mysterious sound to it, nothing off the radio that anyone would recognize."
One of the main challenges with putting together a magic-themed show with props, visual and audio components and actual magic tricks is timing.
"You can dream up a really cool concept, but you never know how it's going to work until you get it out on the field. With this show in particular, we've really had to play with the timing," Childers said.
The Spartan Regiment has been working on the show since August. It continues the band's trend of putting together shows that are out of the ordinary, following last year's baseball-themed "For the Love of the Game" and 2011's "Bon Voyage," which featured music from around the world.
South Caldwell will host its own competition, the Spartan Southern Classic, on Saturday, one of the band's biggest fundraisers of the year. The Spartan Classic will also feature bands from across central and western North Carolina, and this year 13 bands will perform at South Caldwell High School starting at 1 p.m. Admission is $7.
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