It’s tough to be a bug.
Just ask Munster High School Band Director Brent Winternheimer, whose trombonists play a 70-second furious and magical Latin and jazz interpretation of "The Flight of the Bumble Bee."
“There probably aren’t five bands across the country that could play this,” Winternheimer said of the song students will be playing during their performance at state finals Saturday. “It is unbelievably challenging.
“You have to see it to believe it, and the reaction from everyone is, "Is it really happening?' I’ve heard from four different judges, ‘I’m picking my jaw up off the floor.’ It’s that impressive. It’s a definite crowd-pleaser.”
The marching bands from Lake Central and Munster will be participating in the 40th annual Indiana State School Music Association's state finals Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The top 10 scoring bands in each of four classes from the semistate competition will vie for ranking order one through 10 and the state champion title for their class in an event widely known as one of the best in the country.
The classes are based on school size. Munster will compete in Class B and will be performing at 1:20 p.m. local time or 2:20 Eastern Standard Time. Lake Central will compete in Class A at 6:53 p.m. local time or 7:53 p.m. EST.
Nearly 150 bands in seven districts started competing Sept. 29. Regional and semistate contests took place Oct. 13 and 27 with 40 bands making the final cut.
There are about 110 students in Munster’s production of “Bloom,” which features a field set like a flower garden with a picket fence, arbor and bales of hay. Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony was his expression of nature and the English countryside, Winternheimer said.
Lake Central has about 209 students in its production, which is called “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” The music comes from a variety of composers, including Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky and Sir Edward Elgar.
“The message is anybody can be a hero at any point in time, whether it’s a military person, police officer, grandmother, friend or an average everyday person,” said band director Chris Harmon.
The set includes tarps with photos of random people on them.
The memory of bandmate Levi Evans, who had a passion for music and died earlier this year, remains in the Lake Central students' hearts.
“One of our lyrical moments has to do with heroes that have passed on, so there’s a gamut of emotions,” he said.
“We’ve tried to explain to students whatever you think a hero is to use that inspiration for the show. Our hope is that at some level it has touched all of them.”