Special thanks to photographer Beth Fornuto for highlighting our high school marching bands in words and pictures. Each month through the end of the year, she will highlight a different band.
The River Ridge Marching Knights began preparation for their 2023 season over the summer with a new director, Josh Tyree.The transition has been a smooth one for the 85-member band, as Tyree has 20 years of experience, a huge heart for the band community and a stern but friendly disposition. The ease of this change also is due partly to the student leadership, which has made sure everything goes smoothly.
What makes a band family unique is the diversity of kids who come into the fold. Practicing for 12 hours a day during camp in the summer helps to even out the playing field and encourages a community feeling among the participants. There are the veteran students, some of whom have been with the band since sixth grade, as well as newbies, who come in without expectations.
A band student doesn’t fit any particular mold, but when they are all suited up in their uniforms, they appear as one cohesive unit. What does it take to be in the band? Grit and perseverance. Many of these students are leaders in other areas, such as academics, sports and student government. There are always a few Eagle Scouts in the group because Scouting and band attract kids with similar characteristics: determination, loyalty and trustworthiness.
The Marching Knights are proud to present their 2023 production, “Pipe World.” In the show, the band relives fond memories of the original Nintendo game Super Mario Bros. More accurately, they relive the fond memories of all the staff members and parents. The music and sound effects from the games and the recent motion picture are heard throughout the program. The band transforms the football field into a level from the game, and you get to see Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Bowser. Also included are pipes, items from the game and much more.
The River Ridge band students have done an amazing job embracing the techniques introduced by their new director. You can see the band perform its halftime show at every home game, or watch all of the Cherokee County bands Oct. 9 at the Cherokee Marching Band Exhibition at Cherokee High School.