Owen band to debut "Made in America" in special performance

Show to be held in Warhorse Stadium on Nov. 3

Fred McCormick

Rain at the final two Owen Warhorse football home games prevented the school marching band from debuting its show "Made in America."

And so director Tyson Hamrick and the band will take the wraps off the show Thursday, Nov. 3 in Warhorse Stadium so that the Swannanoa Valley, featured prominently in an ode to industry, can see it.

Hamrick, who spent nine years directing the band at Owen Middle School, is in his first year as director of the high school band. "Made in America" was being designed when he accepted the director's position, but he made an effort to increase the show's appeal locally.

Tyson Hamrick leads the Owen High School marching band through rehearsal of the show it will perform on 3 at Warhorse Stadium.

“When I came on board, I sat down with the design folks and talked about the idea of depicting the Valley through the show,” he said. “We focus on the three industries that make America great - woodworking, textiles and metal work.”

The eight-minute Nov. 3 performance will begin at 5:15 p.m. The show will feature familiar scenes as a backdrop, Hamrick said.

“We have six panels in the back, and we chose to use pictures from the Valley,” he said. “The Swannanoa Valley Museum helped us out a lot by allowing us to use some old black and white pictures.”

Woodworking, textiles and metal are each represented by a song in the show, painting a picture of how industry has impacted the Swannanoa Valley.

“The initial voice-over kind of depicts a work day,” Hamrick said. “We open with kind of the beginning of the work day and finish with the evening when everybody goes back home from work.”

The 68-member band, largely made up of students Hamrick directed in his time at the middle school, bought into the performance from the beginning.

The Owen High School marching band will perform their show "Made in America" at Warhorse Stadium on Nov. 3.

“They’ve enjoyed it, and it’s been a pretty ambitious idea from the start,” Hamrick said. “All of our music is custom-written and the kids have really risen to the occasion.”

The band has participated in three competitions so far this year, performing well at Enka High School’s annual Land of the Sky competition in September, Hamrick said. On Oct. 29, the band participated in a competition at North Henderson High School.

The marching band’s season officially ends with the BandBEAT Marching Band Championship in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Nov. 5. The performance at Warhorse Stadium on Nov. 3 will allow his band a chance to get ready for that competition, Hamrick said.

Owen's band plays the Star Spangled Banner prior to a home game earlier during the football season.

The Nov. 3 performance "gives us a chance to get out in a stadium and do the entire show in order to get ready for South Carolina," he said. "It also provides a chance for the community to come out and see this show that the students have worked so hard on.”