By Michael Clarke | Assistant News Editor
The Mighty Mustang Band began summer band activities on Aug. 4 in preparation for its 2014-2015 marching production titled “A Night in Italy.”
This annual ritual of summer practice has the intention this year of advancing the marching band to the state marching competition held at San Antonio’s Alamodome.
“Most of Italy is surrounded by water, and if you were to visit you its cities, you would travel via a gondola during evening activities throughout the city,” band director Dan Suniga said.
According to Mr. Suniga, there will be three life-size gondola replicas, traditionally used for traveling through Italian canals, which will appear on the marching field as a significant prop and storytelling device.
The band begins A Night in Italy on the left side of the field, designed to appear as if the performers and props are traveling througt water in the canals.
“The design of the show is basically a timeline,” Mr. Suniga said.
As the story slowly progresses between movements, the band moves across the field, finishing on the far right side at the show’s conclusion.
“It’ll be interesting to learn the choreography for mimicking waves and water during the show,” trombone player Adam Kuria said.
As the show’s title speaks of the night, in designing the marching show several visible elements were added to stress that the show’s setting occurs at night.
“The Colorguard has flags with an evening sunset, representing the end of the day and beginning of night,” Mr. Suniga said.
As the show and its story progresses, more life-size props are added to further the nighttime scene from its start, such as the addition of several 10-foot life-size lanterns. The several lanterns symbolize the beginning of the night hour taking place throughout Italy.
“The final prop showing the end of the night is the element of the streetlight, suggesting a return to home from a busy night in your travels taken through Venetian canals,” Mr. Suniga said.
Mr. Suniga said that the complexity of this year’s show is determined by the selection of music for the show and choice of marching style, as well as prop selection and overall visual design.
“I want people to think less of a field and more of them watching a theatrical production,” Mr. Suniga said.
“When people come out to see the Mighty Mustang Band, they should not expect to see players just moving across a football field, but rather individuals who have a great deal of respect for music and musicianship,” Head Drum Major Daniel Kawalsky said.