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A busy summer ahead for the BHS marching band

Members of the Bemidji Marching Band hit a pose in the opener of their show, “Invincible” during a recent practice. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 6
Colorguard members rehearse the opener during a recent practice. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 6
Drum Major Danie Baratono conducts the opener during a recent Bemidji Marching Band practice. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)3 / 6
Bemidji Marching Band saxophones players perform drill in the opener of their show, “Invincible” during a recent practice. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)4 / 6
Bemidji Marching Band sousaphone players perform drill in the opener of their show, “Invincible” during a recent practice. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)5 / 6
Trombone players of the Bemidji Marching Band hit a pose in the opener of their show, “Invincible” during a recent practice. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)6 / 6

BEMIDJI—Though the Bemidji High School marching band is used to traveling long distances to perform in parades—to places like Benson, Milaca, St. James, Lake City and Roseville—the BHS students face a new challenge next month.

This year, the marching band will travel even farther than those distant Minnesota locations. The group is traveling approximately 10 hours to perform in a Fourth of July parade in Evanston, Ill.

"It's going to be three days, it's going to be real short. They will get to see the Willis Tower," said Derek Wickum, Bemidji High School band director. "The parade day is pretty much parade day, and we will do a little shopping. And fireworks for Lake Michigan are pretty great."

Local fans will also have a chance to hear the band; the group will also perform twice in the city of Bemidji.

The group will hold its annual Meet the Band fundraiser on Tuesday, June 20, and play in the annual Bemidji Jaycees Water Carnival Grand Parade on Sunday, July 2, in downtown Bemidji.

The Meet the Band fundraiser will include a dinner and silent auction from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., followed by a performance by the marching band at 7 p.m.

"It's been primarily friends and family, but we're hoping that will be more community support," Wickum said. "Come out and help these kids as we put forth our shows every summer."

Bemidji Marching Band sousaphone players perform drill in the opener of their show, “Invincible” during a recent practice.

This year's show is called "Invincible."

"It's an uplifting, fighting-for-justice theme and I really like it. It's a lot different than most of the themes we have had before," said Drum Major Danie Baratono.

The show was composed by Jay Dawson, who also composed "Night Watch," the band's show last season.

"When I was looking through shows, I stumbled upon "Invincible" by him too," Wickum said. "I don't know if I'm turning into a Jay Dawson freak or what. I liked the show and I was like, that's going to be the deal."

Since summer break started, the band has been practicing to learn the drill to accompany the music.

"It's just ironing out these details. In my mind, it works," said Wickum. "It's just on the street, it has to work."

If you go:

What: Bemidji High School marching band Meet the Band fundraiser

When: Silent auction and dinner from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., followed by BHS marching band performance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 20

Where: Bemidji High School. Silent auction and dinner in commons, performance on track

Cost: $7 for dinner

Maggi Stivers

Maggi Stivers is a Multi-Media Journalist at the Bemidji Pioneer. She covers art and entertainment in the Bemidji area. She is a 2013 Bemidji State graduate majoring in mass communications with a minor in sociology. Contact her at (218) 333-9790 or mstivers@bemidjipioneer.com.

(218) 333-9790
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