Seymour, Brownstown marching bands ready for football season


Members of the two high school marching bands in Jackson County were born in the 2000s.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t familiar with music or theme songs from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

As you head to football games at Seymour High School’s Bulleit Stadium and Brownstown Central High School’s Blevins Memorial Stadium this fall, you will hear some familiar tunes during pregame and halftime shows.

Seymour Marching Owls and Guard

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The Marching Owls’ first show Aug. 23 will feature the 2018 songs “High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco and “Sweet But Psycho” by Ava Max along with the 1970s songs “Come Sail Away” by Styx and “Baba O’Riley” by The Who.

Then the Sept. 20 and 27 shows will feature 1980s music.

For the season, Director Kevin Cottrill came up with the theme “High hopes, dreams and youthful delusions.”

“We always try to pick music that will be well-received by our football/basketball crowds and community audiences, so this year, we chose ‘High Hopes’ and ‘Sweet But Psycho’ because both tunes are recent hits,” he said.

“I also like ’70s music and classic rock. Much of it transfers really well to marching band,” he said. “We added ‘Come Sail Away’ from Styx and ‘Baba O’Riley’ from The Who because they are both awesome and powerful arrangements. Together, that’s where I get the theme ‘High hopes, dreams and youthful delusions.'”

The band members are excited about the theme.

“We’re all in high school. You’ve got a lot of ideas that are just kind of flowing, ‘I want to do this for the rest of my life,’ and even just as a little kid, everybody wants to be an astronaut or a veterinarian or just whatever, some big dream, and I think that’ll be cool for people to hear,” senior drum major Trevor Layne said.

“I think it’s a good way to meet in the middle of we’re still in high school and we’re still trying to have fun, have a good time, but we’re also starting to plan and trying to strive for our hopes and dreams,” junior drum major Gavyn Stagnolia said. “I think that playing this music maybe helps motivate some people to set goals and reach your dreams but also make the most of high school while you’re still here.”

Senior drum major Harrison Cottrill said the music is recognizable and relatable.

“The ’80s and the ’70s and the ’60s, those are the classic hits, those are things that even if you’re 5 right now, you’ve probably heard it at least once,” he said.

“For me, that’s when music was music,” Layne said. “There are still musicians out there who make real music, but then you have a lot of people who just put it in a computer and let it do its thing. (Earlier decades) is when you had to be good. You couldn’t just fake it.”

The band and color guard have worked throughout the summer to prepare for the football season.

“I think it’s a good representation of what we actually do and how much work we put into these things,” Stagnolia said. “I think sometimes, people forget that we are out here for a whole week (for band camp) and we’re here in the early summer teaching the freshmen, and it’s something we’re constantly doing and working toward. Being able to present that and all of our work and our dedication, it’s pretty exciting.”

The band and color guard are ready to entertain the crowd, Harrison Cottrill said.

“Our motto for this band is to entertain, and we want to put on a good show for everyone that comes — visitor and home,” he said.

Layne said the band has implemented a few changes this year, including crowd chants and play-sing-play for the school song, so he expects that to be a fun experience at the games.

The band also will be more involved in the cheer block, which is next to the band in the stands during games.

“One of the things we’re pushing for this year is to involve the band in the cheer section and work together as much as we can and be one big school supporting our football players,” Stagnolia said. “We’re excited to fit the band into the crowd more than we did before and incorporate these students into high school life.”

Kevin Cottrill encourages people to check out the first performance Aug. 23, which also will include the varsity cheerleaders.

“We are up a few more members this year and nearing 250 total members,” he said. “We had a fantastic band camp week, and our school year is rolling. … If you haven’t had the opportunity to see/hear SMOG perform in a few years, come to a home football game and check us out. You’ll be glad that you did.”

Band of Braves

The Band of Braves will march onto the field with the theme song from the 1950s television show “I Love Lucy.”

Then at halftime, their opener is the theme song from “CHiPS” that was on TV in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the closer is the theme song from “Get Smart” from the late 1960s.

“I personally love watching all of the old TV shows,” senior drum major Emma Hamm said. “My dad and I watch them together.”

Junior drum major Andrew Wheeles said he was familiar with “I Love Lucy,” and sophomore drum major Kirsten Raisor said she thinks people in the crowd will recognize all of the songs.

“I think people will like them because they are so used to them watching the shows growing up,” she said.

Director Richard Branaman said he has not done TV theme songs at football games before, but some of the songs were part of the band’s March Madness concert earlier this year.

“I just hadn’t been inspired to pick something else for a theme, so I thought this would work for a theme, and there were some songs that would work for the drill team,” he said.

“I knew that this year, we lost a lot of good seniors musically speaking,” he said. “I thought this is going to be a rebuilding year and we’re going to be small, and so the upperclassmen are already going to be confident in the music because they’ve played it, and it’ll help encourage our freshmen to get their feet underneath of them and go.”

The drum majors have been glad to see the band come together this summer.

“A lot of the freshmen went to June band, and that helped a lot,” Hamm said.

“They just understand what they are doing. We don’t need to reteach anybody that’s new. Our group has come on really well,” Wheeles said.

“We all have a bond with each other,” Raisor said.

Branaman said the group has been good to work with and has learned fast, especially considering there are some unique marching formations with the songs.

The drill for “CHiPS” involves a motorcycle spinning its tires, popping a wheelie and running down the field, locking up the front brake and throwing the back end up.

“I wrote all of that into the drill, and I thought, ‘This is going to be a nightmare,’ but these guys, they pick stuff up and they have learned to read their drill charts, and some of them can find their places,” Branaman said. “I’ve got several kids that have set their sections for me. They have done a good job of figuring that all up.”

Then for “Get Smart,” the band will form two lines and move back and forth like a door splitting and closing while the drill team members work from the back of the band to the front.

“I think that if people make the connection and they see what’s going on that we had a little bit of creativity in there and it will make it fun,” Branaman said.

He is excited for the band and drill team’s first show Aug. 23.

“TV Land used to play all of those old sitcoms and things like that. Carol Burnett, ‘I Love Lucy,’ you just can’t go wrong with that. The music was great. The shows were funny,” he said. “I think we’ll reach a lot of people that way, and it will be something fun and cool to do for us.”

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The Seymour Marching Owls and Guard will perform at home football games Aug. 23, Sept. 20 and 27 and Oct. 11 and 18.

The band is directed by Kevin Cottrill. His assistants are Debbie Carroll, Kyle Lutes, Kyle Karum and Tony Franklin. The drum majors are seniors Harrison Cottrill and Trevor Layne and junior Gavyn Stagnolia. The color guard instructors are Steve Nauman and Lacey Money.

The Brownstown Central Band of Braves and drill team will perform at home football games Aug. 23, Sept. 13 and 20 and Oct. 11.

The band is directed by Richard Branaman. The drum majors are senior Emma Hamm, junior Andrew Wheeles and sophomore Kirsten Raisor. The drill team sponsor is Angela Blann.


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