By Teresa Barbian
We’ve all seen halftime shows during football games, either college, professional, or high school. Have you ever wondered what it takes to put together a halftime show? I spoke to Mr. Rob Hartman, Anson Tiger Band Director, about this very subject. Now certainly Anson’s band budget doesn’t allow for elaborate shows you see during NFL or college games, but it really wouldn’t be fair to compare the Tiger Band to that. But you certainly could compare the Tiger Band to other area high school bands (and by the way, we all know that Anson is the best around). The first thing that has to be done is to come up with the music. Most band directors choose music that is already written and base their halftime shows on that. Mr. Hartman is one of only a very small few who actually composes his own music for our halftime shows. He has been composing his own music for the last four years. His original music and the hard work of all the band members for the past two competition years have led the Tiger Band all the way to State.
Composing the music is a long process; you can’t really put it in a time frame. According to Mr. Hartman, the music is always adapting and changing throughout the season. This year’s halftime show is titled "Everything but the Kitchen Sink."
I asked him where he got his inspiration for this year and he replied, “It actually came from a YouTube video that the kids were showing me last year.” (Go check out “When Mama Isn’t Home” on YouTube) This year’s halftime show utilizes household appliances along with the music that Mr. Hartman composed. He said he thought it would be a cool idea to use the appliances; let the kids kind of bang on them and just have fun with them and use them as percussion instruments and props at the same time.
What about the choreography? Once Mr. Hartman has his music composed, he sends it to someone with his ideas for the show and how many band members there are and viola, he has a halftime show. No, it’s not that simple. Someone’s gotta get all those kids to walk a certain way in a certain direction, and step a certain way and direction. If you have a son or daughter in band and they’ve come home from band practice saying they’re tired, they truly are. It takes a lot of hard work for our band members to first learn the music, and then learn the routine. After they’ve learned the routine, it has to be perfected. Every little beat, step, turn, stop, or pivot has to be perfected.
I watched them practice their routine one morning last week while Mr. Hartman stood on the roof watching every little step they took and listening to each and every note that was played. It takes someone with great patience and lots of knowledge to pull it all together, and Mr. Hartman sure fits the bill. Along with help from Mrs. Oller, the Middle school band director, and Mr. Flippo, the halftime show will come to life. Mr. Hartman indicated that the band hasn’t learned the entire routine yet, they are continuously working on it though.
Competition starts in about a month and the band already looks like a class act, but that’s what happens when you have the best band director. I would encourage each of you to get to a football game and see the halftime show. I can honestly say that you won’t be disappointed.