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Friday, September 2, 2016

Supernatural Talent at the Highlands High School Marching Band Performance

The Ghouls Rule During the Half Time Show at Highlands High School

Band director, Lori Duncan, and her students are proud of the hard work they've put into this year's performance.

Duncan says, "It's like a battle between Mozart and Beethoven with a lot of special effects. The field is made to look like a cemetery with five full-size coffins. The feel of the performance is similar to 'Night of the Living Dead'."

The performance starts off with the performers lying in coffins or scattered around the field. One of the color guards, Megan Benzing, plays a girl that discovers the cemetery and the "zombies." The music begins when one musician, Adrian Mester, begins to play the marimba and then it quickly includes the full band.

The music is from composer, Randall Stambridge. The band played a few pieces of Stambridge's music at their Spring concert last year and really liked it. Then Duncan found out he also composed a series of three movements for marching band called "DeComposers."

"There are 51 students in the performance and they've worked hard all summer." said Laura Mester, the Vice President of the Band Association. "They've spent at least 12 hours a week practicing for the show during some of the hottest times of the day. The band parents have been a huge help with things like loading and unloading the percussionist instruments in and out of the pit."

Ian Stokes, a former band member at Highland High School and currently the band director at Newport High School, arranged the music for the various instruments used during the performance.

Lori Duncan has been the director for 17 years. During her time at Highlands, the middle school and high school bands have received distinguished ratings at the Northern Kentucky concert band festival, and the Highlands High School marching band has appeared in the state championships nine times.

Duncan said she's had a lot of help with the performance. "My assistant, Brandon Prew; Percussionist Instructors, Chris Gratsh and Josh Minton; and our Color Guard Instructors, Krista Middendorf and Emily Burns, have all been a part of making this possible."

The band will have their first competition on October 8th in Bellevue, Ky. Their second competition is on November 5th in Norwood, Ohio where — for the first time in Highlands' history — they will compete in the Mid-State Championships. They'll be the largest band in the competition and have a Class A rank. Their first competition is on September 17th at Taylor High School in Ohio.

The band recently had a car wash to raise money and will be selling calendars. They appreciate the community's support.

Check out their hauntingly spectacular half-time show and consider supporting the band during their Mid-State competition on November 5th.

Performance practice. You can see one of the coffins on the far right.

Some members of the band

Members of the Color Guard


  1. We live very close to the stadium and can hear the band practicing. They really sound fantastic this year.

  2. I'm glad to see they are competing again. Maybe more students will be interested in joining. I only wish that the half time shows would be more fun and peppy rather than so serious and artistic. I think the crowd would be more engaged. The artistic performances such as this are good for competitions. I guess I am thinking about how fun to watch the Ohio State band is. The kids work so hard, I would like to see fans actually paying attention to the show.