For the first time, the University of North Georgia's (UNG) award-winning Golden Eagle Band will be competing on a national circuit, with a busy schedule that keeps them on the road every Saturday in March.
|This year's show, "Black and Gold," pays tribute to the band's colors,
which also are the official colors of the U.S. Army.
This year, the band will participate in a new competition circuit hosted by Winter Guard International (WGI), one of the world's largest and most influential marching arts organizations. The Golden Eagle Band will participate in competitions in Atlanta on March 7, Orlando on March 14 and Kentucky on March 21 – all part of the new WGI Winds circuit. The world championships are set for April 11-12 in Dayton, Ohio.
The band starts its competition schedule on March 7 at the WGI Winds Atlanta regional competition, which features bands from several states. The Golden Eagle Band recently was featured in a national music education magazine article about WGI Winds. Andy David, the band's director and head of UNG's Department of Music, said the band is ready for the next level of competition.
"I feel that the Golden Eagle Band is poised for competitive success on the national level, as we've been building toward this for several years, including our performance at the Drum Corps International Southeastern SoundSport competition last summer, where we took the silver medal," David said. "The musical and visual skills of the membership, coupled with the uniqueness of our show, should serve us well in the upcoming competitions."
The band's 2015 program, titled "Black and Gold," celebrates the band's colors and the colors of the U.S. Army. In three distinct parts, the program explores the colors separately and together with wide-ranging musical selections, including the traditional Appalachian folk song, "Black is the Color (of my True Love's Hair)," Bach's "Little Fugue," Eric Whitacre's "Lux Aurumque" (Light and Gold), and "Army Strong" by Mark Isham. The program was designed by David, Josh Crosby, a well-known Atlanta percussion arranger and instructor, and John Mashburn, who teaches instrumental music on UNG's Gainesville Campus. Mashburn also designs shows for marching music groups throughout the United States.
In addition to the WGI Winds competitions, the band will perform in exhibitions at Walt Disney World, Florida, on March 13; Gainesville, Georgia, on March 28; Atlanta on March 28 and July 25; and Indianapolis, Indiana, on Aug. 8.
UNG's Golden Eagle Band is the oldest college marching band in Georgia and one of the oldest in the nation, formed when the university was founded in 1873. While it began as a traditional military band, the group has grown into a band most closely aligned to an American drum and bugle corps. Drum and bugle corps are marching bands with brass instruments, percussion instruments, synthesizers, and color guard; drum and bugle corps typically create a new, themed show each year and participate in regional, national and international competitions.
Members of the Golden Eagle Band are drawn from the university's student body with both military and non-military students participating. While the band continues its service to the Corps of Cadets by performing at parades and reviews, its primary focus is the preparation and performance of indoor marching shows, with design elements similar to those of Drum Corps International.