In ancient Roman times, gladiators were professional combatants or captives who were trained to entertain in huge public arenas in mortal combat. Unlike ancient Rome, mortal combat fortunately no longer exists in our modern arenas. Instead we view other forms of entertainment in large venues.
This year at Richmond Hill High School, the Wildcat Marching Band is portraying “Gladiators” in their 2012 competition show. Unlike their ancient counterparts, they have combatants of a different type. Their combatants consist of other high school marching bands throughout the state, and their arenas are high school football stadiums.
They do though, like the ancient Romans, endure hardships, entertain, and in the end hopefully will conquer their opponent. Their weapon? A technically difficult program, both in music and drill. A well-practiced regiment ready to do their best.
Like hardships endured in the past, our modern day band — along with the football team, cheerleaders and color guard — have had their endurance tested this season in the form of foul weather. Rain caused muddy marching and playing fields, wet uniforms, hampered practices, and cloudbursts that would test the character of the toughest gladiator, haven’t slowed this group down yet.
The band performed its opening piece, “Strength,” and the second part of their program, “Warrior,” at last week’s football game much to the crowd’s enjoyment. The drum majors arrived in a Roman chariot and the color guard boasted ancient Roman costume.
Band director Dr. Daniel Kiene has scheduled three competitions for the Wildcats this season: the Coastal Empire Classic on Oct. 12 at Effingham High School; Battle of the Border on Oct. 20 at Lowndes County High School in Valdosta; and the Marching Mustang Invitational on Nov. 3 at South Effingham High School. The Wildcats’ hard work, dedication and spirit are sure to bring a performance to challenge the worthiest of opponents. Go Wildcats, go gladiators!