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TROY - This is a really fun year to work on the Tell City Marching Marksmen's show, Davey Hebeisen said July 31 at a kickoff party for the upcoming season.
His description of the show, and the excitement in his voice as he described it, will be the last memory students have of the 1988 TCHS graduate who lived in San Francisco, but made frequent trips to help the band he loved.
He died of an aneurism two days after the kickoff.
"I found out (the following) Monday morning," Music Director Barry Reasoner said, "and I told the kids at noon. It was a horrible shock."
Hebeisen "was the conceptual person" for the Marching Marksmen, Reasoner said. "He thought in terms of mood and color; he tried to put a mood into our shows, what emotions were being portrayed."
He designed color-guard uniforms and flags, Reasoner said, and having worked as a dancer at Holiday World for several years after graduating college, designed and choreographed their dance work each year.
The director said he spoke to Assistant Director Natasha Judy and some parents, and even though Hebeisen hadn't yet finalized his vision for this year, "we're moving forward and trying to incorporate all of his ideas into the show. We're trying to create what he might have come up with as a final design."
Hebeisen received a screaming ovation when his turn came to address the students and parents at the kickoff party.
"We'll create three movie screens on the field," Hebeisen said in describing this year's marching show, "and bring the theater to the field." Scenes on the backdrops will shift several times during the show, he explained. "I think the people are really going to like it and respond to it."
He asked for help from anyone who can offer it, building sets, sewing costumes and flags and other tasks.
A band the size of Tell City's - approximately 45 students have been learning new moves in this summer's band camps - needs to be made to look "as amazing as possible, as big and special and powerful as we can be" to compete with larger schools, he said. "The kids are amazing and they're playing music that's amazing, and we want to make sure they have the best of the best on the field to qualify for state finals, so anything we can get for the kids would be fantastic. We're Tell City; we have a tradition, and we want to keep that tradition alive."
Reasoner told the assembly music for the show includes the 20th Century fanfare, Danny Elfman's score for the original "Batman" movie and "to slow things down, we'll use some music from James Horner that was featured in the movie, 'Titanic.' Then we'll segue into some really exciting percussive music that is now being written." He and Judy had "just found our finale," he added without elaborating.
The performing students continued working on the marching show last week and rehearsed toward a Schweizer Fest show they performed Wednesday evening under the gazebo in City Hall Park.