will host the first big local competition of the marching band season Saturday.
Thirteen bands will take over the football field to strut their stuff and showcase their competitive routines during the annual Royal Blues Invitational.
Bands are scheduled to perform in fifteen minute intervals, which includes time for the judges’ comments and scores. The first group, East Lyme High School, is slated to begin their performance at 4 p.m.
Eleven of the 13 registered bands will compete officially. The Royal Blues will perform their entire routine and receive panel comments but, will not get scored in order to avoid the possible impression of home-field judging. Bands typically do not receive an actual score when they hold their home show to prevent potential perception of favoritism.
The other scheduled band that will not actually compete is the US Coast Guard Windjammer Drum and Bugle Corps because as explained by James Shuman, Royal Blues band director, “They’d kill everybody!” Instead, they will take the field for a closing exhibition immediately following the Royal Blues‘ performance.
Although Royal Blues’ official competition schedule does not begin for another two weeks at the Lyman Hall invitational, the band is excited to finally debut its alien-themed routine for this season. Titled “The Final Frontier," the performance consists of four movements and features music from "The X Files," "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
“The whole goal of band camp and the early season was to get ready for this show," Shuman declares. "It‘s our first-time bringing it out. We‘ll do a preview at Friday night‘s football game. But, Saturday is our first chance to play the whole thing for everybody.“
Acccording to Shuman, “The Final Frontier” will serve as the Royal Blues’ performance piece throughout the entire competition season.
“We’re doing Lyman Hall, Cheshire and Southington in October,” he states, citing the the three competitions in which the Royal Blues will participate next month. “Then in November we’ll step back and see how everything worked and maybe make some tweaks if needed.”
The gates will open at 2:30 p.m. and the event will be from 4-8:30 p.m. with the presentation of awards will occur at 8 p.m.