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The Columbus High Marching Cardinals have been hard at work preparing for the coming fall competitive marching arts season.

Since July 16 students have been attending rehearsals from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. to prepare their new show. The Columbus High School Marching Cardinals will be debuting their 2018 show on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. on the high school football field located at Fireman’s Park. All are welcome to come and enjoy the performance free of charge.

Music, drill movements as well as choreography are essential elements to the performance. Basic styles of movement and body motion are being stressed as well as the performance of the music. Members have to memorize the full musical book and coordinate it with the drill moves.

“I can’t think of another activity that multitasks as much as performing a competitive show," said Tim Meinholz, Director of Bands and Columbus High School. “Members must march, watch where they are going, play the music, listen to how they fit in with the other parts, tune to others while playing, anticipate the next move, know the choreography, breathe correctly, attack each note correctly, check their spot and how it fits into the form, be sure to play towards the audience, know when to play loud, when to play soft, keep their feet in time with the music, keep the music together with the other parts, and project to the audience aesthetically.”

The members are very excited to present the show for the community whom shall see improvements from last year at this time. “The group is a little more seasoned this year," said Meinholz. “We have even invited four eighth grade students to perform with us! Our upperclassmen have accepted them with open arms. This helps keep the family atmosphere we have established over the many years I have been here. They help each other and even spend time together outside of rehearsals. They’ll go to the movies together as well as other events," he said.

The show for the fall season is titled “Entwined” with original and arranged music by Jacob Hammer. The arrangement is Salvation Is Created by Russian composer Pavel Tchesnokov. The selection was written as a hymn during the time of the Soviet Union and the communist government. Many religions were muted by the military dictated society, deeming some of them illegal. It is believed that Salvation is Created has political undertones expressing freedoms of religious beliefs.

Hammer is the middle school band director and a product of the Columbus High School music program. “He never really left! As soon as he graduated high school he became part of our staff. This went on all through college and his first two years in the Madison Metropolitan School District. We were fortunate to have him come back to Columbus to join the music department," said Meinholz.

Jacob Hammer is joined by his wife and Deforest High School vocal director, Cortney Hammer. Cortney Hammer is the Visual Director for the marching band. Another product of the Columbus High School music program, Cortney has been working with the group in many different degrees over the past years. Her expertise in the visual aspect of the marching arts has grown immensely during her tenure with the group. She has shown a great deal of creativity matching the music’s finer details with choreography.

Stephan Cherek has been with the Columbus Marching Cardinals for five years. He has established a great rapport with the percussionists as their coordinator. Though he is a paid member of the marching staff, Cherek has volunteered countless hours during the school year, coming in evenings to give free lessons to the students at Columbus. Last year he donated his time to work with the percussion ensembles for District Solo and Ensemble contest. Both of the groups received starred first to earn performances at the state level.

New to our program is Emily Koster. Koster has a large amount of experience with color guards. She has been affiliated with high school, college and drum corps level guards as well as winter guards. She is also a competitive ballroom dancer. Her expertise is in flag and weaponry (rifle, sabre, etc.) and is bringing her skills to the Cardinal Guard.

Drill writer, Andy Brady has been writing for the Marching Cardinals since 2006. He is a highly sought after clinician, visual designer and marching coordinator. Brady has written for many bands at all levels including drum corps. His style is great for smaller bands being simple and very effective.

There are also a few other assistants that include Brandon Jacob, Mikayla Bobholz and Rose Gregerson. These individuals help in music sectionals and drill spot checking on the field.

The Columbus Marching Cardinals have been a foundation for the city of Columbus has one of the most visible organizations from the school in our community. Their performances at the Homecoming Parade, home football games, the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony and the Independence Day Parade in Columbus have been staples for many years. Not to mention the music program’s musical outreach throughout the school year.

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