Gahanna Lincoln High School's Golden Lions Marching Band, boasting 140 members, starts its season at home Aug. 19 featuring the alumni band.
It's the last opportunity the alumni would be able to play in the current stadium because it's being torn down this fall and reconstructed several feet to the east.
Band director Rob Cebriak said he’s excited to start a new season and that he expects a big turnout for the alumni show.
“Several retired directors will be back to conduct the band, and we will be performing a show that celebrates our friendship and Lion pride,” he said. “We can't wait to visit and perform with our alumni again.”
The music includes "Friend Like Me" from "Aladdin," "Brass Roots," "Yesterday" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
Because of the numbers involved and to be prepared with T-shirts, charting and instruments, Cebriak said, alumni who want to perform Aug. 19 must register by Aug. 11 and attend one or both rehearsals Aug. 15 and 19.
Cebriak said the band features junior and drum major Biz Schuler, the first female drum major since Jill Kessler in 1987.
He said Aug. 26 would be the last game played in the stadium, with seniors being honored at pregame.
“At halftime, we will perform the first half of our festival show, 'Shrek,'” Cebriak said. “Music will include 'I'm a Believer,' 'Livin' La Vida Loca' and 'All Star.' On the following night, Aug. 27, the band will take part in the Stadium Farewell Community Homecoming that is being planned.”
After the celebration Aug. 27, the stadium is to be shut down as construction of the new stadium begins, so all other home games are to be played at other sites, he said.
The third home game is scheduled Sept. 16 at Thomas Worthington High School, 300 W. Dublin-Granville Road.
“That evening's performance will feature the second half of our Shrek show, including the songs 'Stay Home,' 'Hallelujah' and 'Best Years of Our Lives,'” Cebriak said. “The following evening, the band travels to Paul Brown Stadium to perform in the Massillon Marching Revue, a show of bands across the state. We've performed at this show several times over the years, and it's a great venue. We will perform both halves of the Shrek show for thousands of spectators that night.”
A few of the Shrek favorites are scheduled to be performed at the fourth home game in Whitehall on Sept. 30, and the regular season finishes Oct. 14 at Fortress Obetz with the senior show, including the traditional "Script Lions."
The band also will perform at playoff games and at the annual Gahanna Lights procession in November, according to Cebriak.
“One of the great things about marching band is the unique opportunity it gives the juniors and seniors to develop leadership skills,” he said. “Our students have been showing excellent effort, and our band council and squad leaders have been mentoring our younger performers to help us achieve our goals on each day of band camp. Besides growing musically, we are seeing students embrace challenges, step out of their comfort zones and show more confidence.”
The Golden Lions hosted band camp at the high school July 26-29, followed by a week at Middle School West Aug. 1-5.
Lincoln senior Djamilatou Diakite, band council president, said she has participated in band for seven years.
“I joined band in middle school because of my love of music,” she said. “Throughout high school, the band has strong community bonds. It’s like a sanctuary. With all the stress that might happen, there’s band.”
Diakite, who plays piccolo, said band camp is where the bonds in the band really start to form.
“Because we’re with each other so much, you’re exposed to personalities,” she said. “I think it’s the spark that makes the band stronger.”
Senior Raymond Ryzenga, who plays trumpet, said the season should be interesting because of the relocation of the stadium.
“It’s sad I won’t have a normal year of marching band,” he said. “I’m definitely devoted to anything I could be in at the school involving music.”
Ryzenga said audiences should enjoy numbers from Shrek.
“It’s a lot of fun stuff,” he said. “For me, this will be an exciting year. I’m section leader of trumpet, in charge of making sure they stay on track and keep up on memory and marching so we all look good.”
This article originally appeared on ThisWeek: Golden Lincoln marching band: Last show in current stadium slated Aug. 26