Bandtasia is a much anticipated show that brings the community together


Jake Barnes

Bandtasia 2022 is on October 25, at 7:00 at the Fine Arts Center

Senior Ellie McDowell can not sing the song “Hey Baby” without energy. She feels like a force will punish her for not performing the song to its full potential all because of an experience she had during Bandtasia her freshman year.

“My freshman year, I was not feeling it,” Ellie said. “[Alum] Tommy Hendricks, who was a drum major at the time, was positioned in front of me while we were practicing ‘Hey Baby,’ and I was just not feeling it. I was doing my little claps, like I was supposed to, and singing, but very monotone. Seriously, I was not feeling it, and he looks at me, and he mouths, ‘I want the energy, or else,’ and since that moment, I have never sung ‘Hey Baby’ without energy because it scared me a little.”

Ellie is one of the two drum majors this year, and the FHC Band is about to put on their most anticipated show of the season: Bandtasia. It is an indoor marching show that the marching band, drum line, jazz ensemble, and color guard participate in. This year’s show is on Oct. 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Alongside Ellie, co-drum major senior Tara Brace is also in the drum line, which means she gets to participate in the fifth quarter—usually a crowd favorite.

“My favorite part is probably fifth quarter when all the drum line gets in the front and everyone is going crazy in the audience,” Tara said. “Sometimes, we do fun things with the lights too, which is super fun, but it’s nice to have everyone there for the band versus people [being] there for a football game. Everyone is there to actually see us.”

Along with the fifth quarter, there is a lot of audience participation when the band plays the FHC fight song. Ellie fondly looks back on the times when the band plays the fight song, and all of the football players at the show get very excited about it.

“I love the energy that we have on the stage,” Ellie said. “The football players in the audience always sit near the front, and when we’re doing [the] fight song, we invite them on stage. The camaraderie that builds and the energy in the room is always amazing.”

‘My favorite part is probably fifth quarter when all the drum line gets in the front and everyone is going crazy in the audience’”

— Tara Brace

It seems like Bandtasia builds a lot of camaraderie among the students of FHC, and the whole community. The Band Director, Laura Zilhaver, does not remember exactly when Bandtasia started, but she knows that it is a great way for the community to come together and support the band.

“I know that [Bandtasia] started a long time ago, I would say 2000, maybe a little bit before that,” Zilhaver said, “so it’s been a long-standing tradition. A lot of programs do an indoor marching band performance, but I think what’s different about Bandtasia is that we try to get those younger students to attend, so it’s not just a performance for parents, it’s a performance for the community.”

Bandtasia is a night that many people look forward to: community members, band members, football players, and more. It is a night that really showcases the talents of the band.

The show is more of a non-traditional show. It differs from the band’s halftime show at football games due to being indoors, but also, there are more parts of the band that are showcased specifically at Bandtasia.

“The first part features our jazz ensemble, and that’s sort of a traditional jazz setup,” Zilhaver said. “We’ll play a couple tunes and feature some improvisation soloists. Then, we switch to the marching band portion, and it becomes a little more non-traditional where we have people marching through the aisles, and we have our color guard featured on stage. It’s way more of a visual experience than a normal band concert.”

Bandtasia is a way for the band and the audience to have a lot of fun and to differ from the more traditional band concerts.

A lot of preparation goes into Bandtasia. The band has rehearsals after school and during class, and they have band camp over the summer where they learn their drill and music.

“Bandtasia is the combination of months of work and sort of our highlight for the season,” Zilhaver said. “Everything that we do all season long leads up to it. It starts at the end of the school when we’re learning the music, and continues over the summer with band camp. We do learn the drill, and our halftime show on the field is a little different than on the stage, but it is weeks of work.”