It’s Showtime for Silver Tarpon Band

Special to the PRESS

After nearly two months of practice and learning, including long hours spent working on drills under a blazing sun, it’s finally show time for the Port Isabel High Silver Tarpon Marching Band. This aggregation of young musicians will perform their first halftime show at this Friday’s 2015 season opener for another hard-working group of teenagers, the Tarpon football team.

It’s a long and complicated show which means it’s business as usual for the band. It also means that only a portion of the entire show will be ready by this Friday night. This week the Press dropped in on Scott Hartsfield, the head director of bands, to find out how things were coming along.

“We’ll be marching about 15 sets (formations) of the show, (which consists of) about 65 sets this year,” Hartsfield said Monday. “We’re not going to have color guard out there yet, and we won’t have any props out there this week. We will be doing the drill work with the instrumentalists for at least the first 15 sets.”

The drum line will have, according to Hartsfield, four bass drums and two tenors. The number of snare drums on the field is less certain, at least for the first game or two. “It’s looking like we’re probably going to march three snares this year, maybe four. We have one kid who’s had some illnesses and we just want her to recover. She’ll be able to join us later on and we’ll go from there.”

The frontal ensemble is made up of those percussionists who remain on the sideline during the halftime show. That’s because instruments like the xylophone and marimba do not lend themselves to marching. “They’re doing a really, really good job, and they’re really young,” Hartsfield said. “Most of them are eighth graders.”

Silver Tarpon band members have been very busy this summer. Classes began this Monday and they’ll be even busier from now on. The current practice schedule will have the band in the main high school parking lot Monday and Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m., and at 7 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. These practices are in addition to several indoor get-togethers in the band halls.

“I think the energy, like right out the door, is going to be there,” Hartsfield said. “But at the same time they’re very focused and they want to do well.”

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