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Wall of Sound gets change in culture and playing style

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - It’s year two for band director Korey Parlin with Marietta’s Wall of Sound.

He’s finding new ways to change the mindset of the band, and bring them together.

“I feel like it’s connected,” says clarinet section leader, Shayleen Patterson. “Like where we used to be disconnected, like in forms and the music. And it’s kind of made it more of a balance.”

He is using innovative ways to capture the audience’s attention, with some new takes on his band performances.

“This year, we are also doing a lot of different things,” says Parlin. “For example, we have our percussion section, our battery in particular, who pick up some color guard flags. So, they actually had to learn how to do color guard routine. And then, some of our wind players are also asked to do a dance break while the percussion feature is being sectioned. And so, that’s something that has not been asked of them to do before. So, trying to change some things up and really challenge the students in multiple different ways.”

Parlin is helping the group play better by getting inside the movements.

“This year, he’s definitely put more ideas in it,” says drum major, Allee Nau. “He’s pushed us. He’s made the program a lot better for what his ideas are.”

Band members say this approach is helping them improve.

Clarinet player, Dania Atwat says, “Personally, I’m kind of more like a hands-on person. So, when he does that it kind of really helps us. And it shows us that, ‘oh, we need to move this way.’ Or, ‘we need to chin up.’”

“Yeah, as a director, it’s real easy to stand up on the podium or stand up on the scaffolding and try to teach from a distance. A lot of students don’t learn so well in that capacity,” says Parlin. “So, here in the past week-and-a-half I’ve really tried to come down off the tower so that I could really interact with the students and help them a bit more with what their strengths and weaknesses are.”

And after the decrease in band size over the last two years, Parlin is looking to build the program back up from the 40 members he has right now.

“Right now, we just have to try and recruit as many students as possible into the program. And sometimes that means we have to change things within our own program. And it’s culture,” says Parlin.

The Wall of Sound’s halftime show theme is “A Little Rain Must Fall.”

Parlin says they chose this because the group was rained on heavily during one of their last performances last year.

Some of the songs featured are “Umbrella” by Rihanna and “Singing in the Rain.”

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