Last year, Solanco High School's concert band performed a number of composer Randall Standridge's creations.
"The kids really fell in love with him right away," said music teacher and marching band director Scott Weyman, "and I became a fan of the composer."
So when Weyman was looking for a program for this year's marching band, he looked at Standridge's shows.
"He scores a lot for middle and high school bands," he said. "I started to go through the options he has written for a marching band. He writes more contemporary style marching band shows."
The one Weyman chose, Heart, is just difficult enough to stretch high school musicians' abilities but not so difficult that it becomes overwhelming.
The show opens with Heartrate, an energetic number. That's followed by Heartbreak, a ballad about loss, pain, and disappointment. The finale, Heartbeat, another energetic number that portrays the resilience of the human spirit.
For the past two weeks, the band has been rehearsing the music and the drill routine for the show.
Last week, the weather kept the musicians indoors on one day but they managed to rehearse on the school's football field for two days. The band's usual practice area, the south end of the school's parking lot, is being used by contractors building the athletic department's new activities building.
This year's band is larger than the one that took the field in 2018. Many of this year's members are freshmen.
"We have 51 musicians and 20 in the color guard," Weyman said. "That's up from last year. We're moving in the right direction."
The band will demonstrate its new show at parents’ night on August 22. The band will also participate in two multi-school shows.
The first will be at Manheim Township High School in September. The second will be at McCaskey High School for the fall season finale.
“We will have at least a dozen bands there,” Weyman said. “Each will perform its own show and then the kids will do a mass band performance with everyone at the same time to end the night.”