Crowd gathers for a little night music at Hampshire High
By Denise Moran For The Courier-News September 27, 2012 10:52PM
Hampshire junior Lindsay Brezinski plays the flute as the Whip-Purs Marching Band performs during their performance at the 2nd Annual Corn Classic Marching Band Exhibition at Hampshire High School Tuesday night. Sept 25, 2012. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
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Updated: November 1, 2012 6:30AM
HAMPSHIRE — Four local high school bands took over the Hampshire High School football field on Tuesday night for the second annual Corn Classic Marching Band Exhibition.
“We’re excited to host the Corn Classic tonight,” said Hampshire High Principal Chuck Bumbales. “We have beautiful weather, and it’s for a good cause.”
The event featured the Genoa-Kingston High School Marching Band of Genoa, the Central High School Marching Rockets Big Blue Band of Pride of Burlington, The H. D. Jacobs High School Golden Eagle Marching Band of Algonquin, and the Hampshire High School Whip-Purs Marching Band.
Tuesday night temperatures registered in the low 60s for the people who gathered in the stands to watch the show.
The price of admission was either $2 or a canned good for the Burlington-Hampshire Food Pantry. Money that was raised from the sale of raffle tickets, T-shirts and concessions will benefit the Hampshire High School music scholarship fund.
The first Corn Classic was held last fall at Central High in Burlington. It featured the bands from Central, Hampshire and Genoa-Kingston high schools.
“It’s a beautiful night for marching bands,” said Central High band director Jim Struyk on Tuesday. “This event should continue.”
Helen Lawrence, Hampshire High band director, agreed that the tradition should go on. “It’s very exciting,” Lawrence said. “Next year it will be held at Genoa-Kingston High School.”
“This is just a great event,” said Tom Rucker, Genoa-Kingston High band director. “It’s good to have a non-competitive environment for the kids to perform in.”
“It’s our first time here,” said Jake Stouffer, who directs the Jacobs High band with Anthony Gnutek. “It’s nice to get out here and perform with other bands, and it’s nice to perform for a friendly audience. This is a different opportunity for us. We compete four times a year.”
Genoa-Kingston High began the evening with songs by 12-time Grammy winner Paul Simon. The songs were: “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “You Can Call Me Al,” “Still Crazy After All These Years,” “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” and “Late in the Evening.”
The Elvis tunes of: “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Burning Love,” “C.C. Rider,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock” were performed by the Central High band.
Black and white props were used by the Jacobs High band when they presented “Synesthesia.” At one point, the entire band disappeared behind the props and then reappeared. They performed: “Monochromatic, Musical Visualization and Multistability.”
The Hampshire High band presented songs from the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys.” The band’s show medley included: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “December 1963,” and “Walk like a Man.”
All four bands came on the field and performed the song “Hey Baby (If You’ll Be My Girl)” for the finale.
Fran Ruscetti of Hampshire came to watch the marching band exhibition. Her son, Nicholas, is a Hampshire High freshman who plays the snare drum.
“I was totally excited about tonight,” Fran said. “Every time I hear the band, I want to cry. Mrs. Lawrence does an incredible job.”
Tammy Sonntag of Genoa watched the Corn Classic with her husband, Garrett, and their children: Zachary, 12, and Bryanna, 8. Brendyn, their oldest son, is a freshman at Genoa-Kingston High who plays bass clarinet.
“This is our first time here,” Tammy said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Elgin Area Chamber President Carol Gieske and her husband, Pat, said that Tuesday was their first time at the Corn Classic. Their son, John, is a Central High freshman who plays the trumpet.
“It couldn’t be a more perfect night,” Carol said.
Haley Gurney is a Jacobs High junior who plays the clarinet. Watching the bands from the stands were her mother, Jody Gurney of Carpentersville; her grandmother, Judy Lovett of Huntley, and her aunt, Linda Muscat of West Dundee.
“We’re very proud of all of the students,” said Lovett.
Hampshire High senior Nancy Alvarado plays the baritone. She thought the Corn Classic was a lot of fun.
Ranae Ziwiski of Burlington attended the Corn Classic last year and this year. Her son, Jason, is a sophomore at Central High who plays the clarinet.
“I think they did a fabulous job this year,” Ranae said. “It was even better than last year. It was nice to see more bands and watch this event grow.”