Big doors were opened at an everyday rehearsal for the TCU Marching Band when members found out they had the opportunity to be featured on national television and win $25,000.
Bands from across the nation submitted videos as part of a contest to appear on an episode of the television series “Hawaii Five-0.” The TCU band was one of 17 chosen for the chance to appear on national television sometime this fall, associate director of bands Jeremy Strickland said.
According to the CBS website, the 2010 “Hawaii Five-0” series is a crime drama and a revival of the 1968 series.
Sophomore band member Matt Gomez said band members were confused when they were handed the music for “Hawaii Five-0” until they heard about the contest.
Associate director of bands Jeremy Strickland said he wanted the band to be involved with the contest because it was a good opportunity to have a video promoted around the nation, have the band talked about and put the program in the mix with some of the most historic band programs in the nation.
Gomez, a business information systems major, said he thought the contest offered the band a chance to make a name for itself.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity for private schools and for smaller schools, like TCU, who have an excellent music program and an excellent marching band, to get recognition on a national level,” Gomez said.
According to the competition site, University of South Carolina, University of Notre Dame and Texas State University were just a few of the bands selected for the competition.
“We didn’t get into it expecting that we were going to win,” Gomez said. “We’d like to, but we got into it because we wanted people to see the TCU band as one of the big players around the country.”
Gomez said CBS required them to perform in front of a news team and turn in a video of their own with integrated live recordings.
Drum major and junior nursing major Spencer Heath said the band didn’t perform the original “Hawaii Five-0” stock arrangement, but instead performed a unique arrangement for the video.
“Our video showcases our attitude and who we are as a band, people dancing and slamming their faces into the camera and just being ridiculous,” he said. “That’s more who we are; we’re here to have fun.”
The band shot the video in several locations, including the practice lot, the indoor practice field and a football game, he said.
Gomez said he thought the band had a good chance of winning because of the unique montage video they submitted.
Strickland said he wanted people to see the many facets of the TCU band in the minute-and-a-half video.
The band decided it was really important that members would be proud to have a nationally-exposed, high quality video that showed the best assets of the band, he said.
In addition, he said the band’s goals this year included supporting the winning football team, cheering the crowd on and performing challenging halftime routines.
“We’ve made many jokes about what we would do with $25,000,” he said. “But I’m sure we would turn it right around and pour it back into the band for things we’d like to have in order to make our program more successful.”
According to the CBS site, videos will be judged on musicianship, band choreography, originality of performance and evaluation of the performance as a whole, as well as votes.
Votes can be cast on the Marching Band Mania website, which is open until October 4th.
The winning band will be announced on October 11th.