Bomber Band presents Cirque!

Brianna Ifland, Reporter/Photographer

During Senior Night at Bomber Stadium, the high school band debuted its 2020 show: Cirque. Out of the three movements, they performed the first: “Distorted.” The second and third songs (“Quidam” and “Urban”) debuted at the same time on October 2, and the full show was repeated during the homecoming game last Friday.  

“All of [the movements] are awesome,” says clarinet player Celest Mattix. “They each have parts that are just phenomenal… when you’re doing a show, the first movement moves to the slow and serenading second movement, but when you get to the third you’re at the climax of the show and it’s the greatest feeling.”

All of the pieces are from Jay Dawson’s arrangement of Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba. J.W. Pepper Sheet Music describes “Distorted” as having “dance rhythms [which,] combined with the catchy melody[,] truly [captures] the essence of ‘Cirque du Soleil!’” 

“Quidam” has a “haunting introduction” which “gives way to a beautiful ballad,” and “Urban” “combin[es] hip-hop rhythms with classical-style melodies… [and] is a wildly exotic ending to [the] show!” 

When asked about his favorite movement, junior and alto sax player Asa Norwick said, “It’s gotta be the third movement (Urban)… it’s more upbeat, more exciting, more moving. The music sounds better in my opinion.”

The students have clearly put in the hours, and it’s paid off. The colorguard attended the Ozarko Marching Festival at MSU in Springfield, MO, and got second place. (Their performance can be found here.)

Colorguard lined up pre-show during Senior Night

Member Emma Scott says, “Well, we’ve been learning this routine [for a while,]  but when we learned it was a guard only competition, we changed it to look like a winter guard show… My favorite part of the routine is Quidam’s hoops. It adds some creativity into the show and lets the audience understand its circus themes.”

My favorite part of the routine is Quidam’s hoops. It adds some creativity into the show and lets the audience understand its circus themes.”

— Emma Scott

Though plans have changed due to COVID, the band has worked its way through the mandates to bring together the show. Summer practices were canceled due to large numbers and the band didn’t meet until the week before school. 

Saxophone player Asa Norwick lined up on the football field pre-show during the homecoming game

“If you run it right, we’re socially distanced throughout the entire show,” Norwick recalls. “The music [and marching] is a lot easier since we have so many people coming in and out from quarantine.”

Students were provided instrument-friendly masks (below) and blocking was made to space out students as much as possible. Arkansas guidelines state there must be a six-foot minimum distance between players, though that extends to twelve for flutes and nine for trombone players. Only outside practices were/are permitted, so a tent was set up behind the band hall.

Mattix states, “We still don’t have visuals, and it’s kind of scary because state is coming up, but the show is really coming together at this point and we’re seeing a lot of improvements.” 

Community members in risk groups are obviously discouraged from attending large gatherings, but recordings of the show can always be found on the Mountain Home Bomber Band Facebook page. It’s clear that they’ve had to jump through some hoops (in more ways than one) to bring you Cirque, so go support your local band kids! 

(The video of their homecoming halftime performance can be found here.)