Showing great team spirit and a lot of hustle, the JBHS Marching Band had only one answer when the producers of the nationally syndicated Ellen Show (Ellen DeGeneres) called the JBHS Instrumental Music Association and asked if there was any way the band could perform on the show. “Yes!” was the re-sounding answer, the only catch was the question came on Wednesday afternoon and the shoot was scheduled for Thursday. With e-mail, texting, Facebook, and a few phone calls, the 100 piece marching band, the IMA Board of Directors, and some fabulous parents rallied.
The school granted the kids time away from classes, and we convened in the band room at 9:30 on Thursday morning. Although our marching band uniforms were put away until next fall’s marching season, the Uniform moms pulled them out, kids donned their gear, we loaded instruments in cars, the buses showed up, and at 11:00 a.m. we were off to the Warner Brother’s Studio.
The band marched across the studio lot to Ellen’s studio and it was time to rehearse on the stage. Ellen came out and personally thanked the band for helping with her highly popular Super Bowl Show on such short notice, and then she joked around with kids as everyone ran through the first of what was to become several plans.
Movies and TV may be glamorous to the viewer, but we all found out that there is a lot of “hurry and up wait” when it comes to actually creating a show. However, band kids are well versed in hanging out, but the show was a bit challenged for where to stockpile a 100 piece marching band. Fortunately we had a sunny day, so we hung out in a parking lot adjacent to the studio.
Finally it was time to begin the shoot, and we found out there would be no do-overs. Ellen shoots live so we had to get it right the first time. The band was part of a story about two football fans who had been driving across country attempting to win tickets to the Super Bowl. The show opened with the car driving right onto the stage followed by – you guessed it – a marching band! With flags twirling, drum majors leading, drums pounding, and horns sounding, the band marched right in, made a huge fanfare, and exited through the screaming, cheering audience. The producers were so happy they asked the band to stick around and help close the show. Not in the original plan, but things are fluid in TV-land.
Forty minutes later the band was back in formation and marching back into the studio and across the stage yet again. With lots of great close up shots, the band helped send off the two football fans, now clutching tickets, to the Super Bowl.
We got back to school at 5:30, eight hours later, tired but thrilled with our experience. We can’t wait to see the JBHS Band’s second appearance on national TV in less than a month!
For more information, contact JBHS IMA at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit our website at: www.jbhsima.org