BCHS band going with ‘Light Up the Sky’ theme

BROWNSTOWN — This fall, the Brownstown Central High School football players look to make plays on the field to light up the scoreboard at Blevins Memorial Stadium.

Meanwhile at the games, the Band of Braves will look to “Light Up the Sky.”

That’s the theme for the 2022 marching band season selected by seniors Madison Edwards and Raegan Ratliff.

They searched the internet for football game themes and found one they liked and then picked three songs the band already had on hand. Those are pop songs from recent years: “Counting Stars,” “Starships” and “Firework.”

“We’re a small band. We play them quite a bit in pep band, so they are just easier to play on the field,” said Edwards, one of the three drum majors in the 2022-23 school year.

“With a band of our size, they fit what we can do, and the fact that we can play them is really good,” another drum major, junior Quincy Weddell, said.

Senior Bryce Reaser said all of the songs fit the theme and are upbeat, while sophomore Cody Blackburn, the third drum major, said they will be relatable to the crowd.

“The crowd usually knows all of those songs in particular, so they are going to know what they are hearing,” Blackburn said.

Director Richard Branaman then came up with three other songs that relate to the theme: “Aztec Fire,” “Daybreak” and “Mars.”

At home football games, “Aztec Fire” will be the pregame song, “Daybreak” is the halftime show opener, one of the pop songs will feature the drill team and “Mars” will be the closer.

“I like ‘Mars’ because it’s difficult and new,” Edwards said.

“I’d say that I like them together because ‘Aztec Fire,’ it’s kind of a medium challenge, and then we go into ‘Daybreak’ and that’s kind of an easy, slower song,” Ratliff said. “Then that’s when we get into the more challenging stuff, and I think it’s a really nice progression.”

The band is up for that challenge, Weddell said.

“We’re willing to go out there and try our hardest to give the best of these,” he said.

“I feel like ‘Mars’ definitely sounds the best and it’s really cool, and I feel like the price for that is that it’s going to be more complicated and more to work toward,” Blackburn added.

Fans attending the games will hear all six songs throughout the course of the night because the band also will play in the stands during breaks, Edwards said.

“I’m looking forward to just hanging out with everyone in the stands and getting hyped up for the football team,” Reaser said.

“The energy from everybody is amazing,” Weddell said.

“Just being out with everybody since it’s my last year, I’ve got to soak it all in,” Ratliff said.

The band recently had a condensed version of summer band camp. That’s always conducted the week after the Jackson County Fair, but this year, school started that Friday, so Branaman said there were only three days to work on the songs and drills at camp.

“We have had years where we had an entire week and we couldn’t march and play the opener, and these guys marched and played everything but the opener and the pregame,” he said. “They didn’t look too bad, they didn’t sound too bad, so to be this early and have that ready, that’s pretty cool.”

At a glance 

The Brownstown Central High School Band of Braves and drill team will perform at home football games Aug. 26, Sept. 2 and 23 and Oct. 14.

The band is directed by Richard Branaman. The drum majors are senior Madison Edwards, junior Quincy Weddell and sophomore Cody Blackburn. The drill team sponsor is Angela Blann.

The band has 19 members, and the drill team has seven.