Marching band delivers plenty of ‘Wonder’ in 2021 halftime show


Kevin Brewer

Seniors Mason Cunningham and Gabe Johnson perform a movement of the Bearden marching band’s halftime show “Wonder.”

During this year’s marching band halftime show, Bearden fans may notice each group in the band emphatically pointing toward the sky at different moments in the performance.

The gesture is a symbol of the mysteries of the world and the universe.

As percussion kicks off the show, the marching band begins the first piece – “Wonder” by Shawn Mendes, also the title of the band’s halftime show this year.

“Our show this year is called ‘Wonder,’” junior drum major Jackson Schriver said. “Its theme is a little bit abstract in nature, but it has to do with what we wonder about things that are beyond even human understanding.”

Following the theme, stars, planets, and outer space in general are a big influence on the performance. Glowing orbs symbolize stars in this performance, and a big space-themed stage on the left side of the field is also used as a symbol. 

The first movement is made up of “Wonder” by Shawn Mendes and a piece called “JOYride,” which is based off of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. The second movement, a ballad in the marching world, is called “Grow till Tall” by Jonsi, accompanied by a French horn solo. 

The final piece, also called the “closer,” is entitled “Fly to Paradise” by Eric Whitacre. Mr. Jamie Wilson arranged and composed the halftime show.

Later in the marching season, the marching band will have voice overs of students saying what they wonder the truth of while performing visual movements.

“While the show was in the final stages of design, the band directors had us all write down deep and meaningful questions (and responses) that are likely to be featured during the show,” senior mellophone and French horn player Olivia Rhines said. “Things like, ‘Will my actions make an impact on the world?’”  

Band is a collective work by directors, musicians, color guard and other visual elements. Band director Megan Christian explains that many working parts have to come together in order to create Bearden’s halftime show each year, and it’s her job to organize each part into the whole. 

Typically the band starts rehearsals during band camp and continues throughout November in preparation for football season and marching competitions. So for Bearden’s marching band, now is the time their hard work finally pays off.

“I’m really proud of the work they’ve all put in this year,” Mrs. Christian said. “We’ve got a great synergy going on and are on a great trajectory for the rest of the year.”