Editor's note: This is the final part of a three-part series that highlights summer camp for area high school bands. Scotus Central Catholic High School's band is featured today. Read previously published stories about the bands at Columbus and Lakeview high schools on our website, columbustelegram.com.
Elliott Thomazin hears beats, rhythms and cadences everywhere he goes, there’s no getting the music out of the Scotus Central Catholic High School drum major’s mind.
“I always have a song going through my head. And if I don’t, there’s always some sort of beat,” Thomazin said. “All of life is centered around beats; there’s the normal 4-by-4 time, but even walking down the hallway I find myself staying on step, for a lack of a better term. Band has helped me to realize and learn what music really is.”
Just after 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Thomazin and his peers will join forces with Lakeview High School and Columbus High School for their Columbus Days musical performance of the Nebraska Cornhusker Fight Song, which ties in perfectly with this year’s festival theme of “Big Red Block Party.”
Scotus Band Director Kristen Cox said this is the first time the three city bands have unified since the Star City Parade held in Lincoln more than 15 years ago.
“All three directors have always talked about and kidded around a little bit, ‘what if we came together? What would that look like and how would that be?’” Cox said. “And we thought it would be a great experience for our students, so this year when the Columbus Days Committee announced the theme we thought that if we were ever going to do it that this would be the year.”
The entire musical piece will last approximately five minutes with each school’s drum line playing its own cadence as well as all three schools playing one cadence together. A cadence is a piece catered specifically to drum lines, Cox explained.
In addition to the school’s marching bands, Scotus and CHS both have performing flag teams that will lead the band, and Scotus and Lakeview’s cheer squads will bring up the rear.
“So it’s kind of nice to have both groups, the flag team and the cheer teams kind of be our bookmarks of our band,” she said. “It looks really nice. You get a little sparkle from the flags and from the poms."
Cox said the band is expected to perform in the first wave of parade activities.
In preparation of the show, Cox’s students have been preparing for the better part of two weeks waking up early and pounding the pavement with their feet while navigating down 14th Street playing their instruments.
The musical rendition of the Cornhusker Fight Song started getting attention this spring, she said, and the three bands had a three-hour rehearsal in July to get acclimated with playing together. The trio planned to meet again this morning for one final rehearsal before tackling Sunday's performance.
Cox said the parade serves as the perfect platform for three different schools, featuring different students taught in different ways by different directors, to come together through a love for music.
Thomazin said that playing the Cornhusker Fight Song was the perfect music selection for the three bands to tackle together. In Husker football land, something like that isn’t too hard to rally around.
“It’s really awesome to hear it, and it’s so great to be able to bring that kind of atmosphere from Lincoln down to Columbus,” he said.
For Junior Katie Stachura, the Husker theme has been secondary. She said the best part of the band unification for her has been interacting with her band friends from the other local schools as well as forging new bonds.
“I have a lot of friends in both bands so it has been a lot of fun to work with them,” Stachura said. “It’s also fun to see how other bands do stuff and work with their kids. It’s just fun to meet new people, like, in my section, I didn’t really know anybody, and then doing sectionals with the Columbus High band, I met a whole bunch of new people and made new friends."
Cox reiterated Stachura’s thoughts, discussing how band can bridge gaps and be a common denominator for people in building relationships.
“I’ve been so impressed with the students, I mean, they learned their material rather quickly and were all helping each other out and we all wanted to come into this with the attitude that we are all part of music and band,” she said. “It’s something that we want to promote and grow, so we need to look at it that way.”
Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.