More Than Marching - New competition aims to bolster arts community

Posted: September 30, 2018 at 1 a.m.

Courtesy photo The Bentonville Pride Marching Band prepares to host its first marching invitational, offering a professional competition atmosphere and the opportunity for all participants to receive honest assessment and encouragement from professional judges.

The world of marching band is a unique thing that conjures all kinds of images and stereotypes based on one's experience, or lack of, with it. But the truth is, it might not be exactly what you expect.

"It's completely different than what it used to be," affirms Bentonville High School band director Tim Hendrix. "It's so much more theater, so much more production, so much more dance, there's drama to it -- those things combine to create such a more rewarding and pleasant experience for the viewer to be a part of than just seeing kids come on the field and play, like, a rock tune and [leave]. There's connection to it that I think the arts community is going to really appreciate, because it's basically become like theater that you would see on a stage, you're seeing on the football field now."

FAQ

Bentonville Marching Invitational

WHEN — Oct. 6; preliminaries begin at 11 a.m.; BHS performs in exhibition at 6:45 p.m.; finals begin at 7 p.m.; winners announced at 10:15 p.m.

WHERE — Tiger Stadium at Bentonville High School

COST — $10-$20

INFO — bentonvillepride.com

Hendrix and his band are preparing to host the school's first marching invitational -- a competition where 17 high school bands from across Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma will perform for an esteemed panel of music expert judges and receive meaningful feedback for their programs. The event will serve as a fundraiser to help alleviate travel costs of the 200-plus students in the BHS band, but Hendrix is adamant the contest is a way to bridge any perceived divide between the marching world and the artistic community as a whole. And the city of Bentonville obviously agrees as the band was gifted a $10,000 grant from Visit Bentonville to aid in the success of the event.

"In short, it makes band more financially feasible, it gives something that our community can be excited about, and it gives our kids an opportunity to perform for an appreciative crowd and make them better, too."

-- Jocelyn Murphy

jmurphy@nwadg.com

NAN What's Up on 09/30/2018