September 19, 2014

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Shoremen band to play Horseshoe on Saturday

AVON LAKE — Avon Lake Schools Superintendent Bob Scott isn’t certain whether the Shoremen Marching Band’s drum line practices outside his office by design or coincidence.

Either way, he doesn’t mind.

“The band room is three doors down from my office,’’ Scott said with a laugh. “They’re good. Dave Eddleman teaches them how to play.’’

That musical craftsmanship coupled with the band’s showmanship will be on view Saturday when the band is among some 30 from around Ohio taking part in The Buckeye Invitational inside Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

Hosted by The Ohio State University Marching Band, the Shoremen will perform as part of an Ohio Music Education Association-adjudicated event beginning at 10 a.m.

Scott credits Eddleman, the high school’s band director, with not only striving to instill good musicianship with good showmanship, but in building the band back up from a low of about 80 members when he arrived about 2005, to its current 125 or so members.

“It’s grown every year and that’s what Dave tries to do,’’ Scott said.

This weekend’s competition sees bands play throughout the day before a crowd that may total several thousand people, according to Emily Brodke, 17, a senior and student band president.

In the Shoremen band since she was a freshman, Emily vividly recalls her first experience at the Buckeye Invitational as a freshman.

“When everyone talks about it, their favorite thing is its so big when you walk into the stadium,’’ Emily said. “It’s huge. It’s really awesome, everybody loved it.’’

The Avon Lake Marching Shoremen have had a close relationship with the OSU Marching Band, having performed at the “Horseshoe“ in 2007 and 2009 for Buckeye Invitationals, as well as sitting next to the OSU band for a number of “skull sessions“ prior to OSU football games.

This relationship has culminated in a trio of Avon Lake drum majors donning the scarlet and gray as drum majors for Ohio State.

The most recent Avon Lake graduate to serve as OSU drum major was Jason Stuckert, a 2009 Avon Lake grad who became Buckeye drum major as a sophomore, only the second in OSU history.

Stuckert follows in the footsteps of Avon Lake brothers Eric (1996-97) and Scott (1998) Summers.

Brodke, who was a freshman when Stuckert was a senior, plays a mellophone, which she describes as “sounding exactly like a French horn, but looks like a really big trumpet.”

She talked about how cool it was that the Shoremen don’t compete in as many contests as some schools do, but fare very well in those they do take part in.

“They judge us on our musicality and marching, and the overall vibe they get from us,“ Brodke said.

“We get pretty comparable ratings, considering we’re in there with way more seasoned bands,“ Brodke said.

Scott views the Buckeye Invitational as an experience students will savor all their lives “whether they go on to be accounting or pre-med majors, or they are very talented musicians who are inspired to say this (OSU) is a place they want to come back to.“

The Buckeye Invitational is open to the public. Tickets are $14 for adults. Children six and younger are admitted free.

The Marching Shoremen is set to perform at 3 p.m., followed by the OSU Marching Band at 6:30 p.m.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.