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Friday, October 26, 2012

Battle of the Bands: Tobacco Road Edition

There's nothing like a college sports rivalry.

This week UNC and NC State meet on the football field. While Duke-Carolina gets most of the press, especially on the hardwood, there's no love lost between Carolina and State either.

In what I'm hearing is an annual tradition, a contingent from NC State's Power Sound of the South hopped on the highway to Chapel Hill to blast The Army Goes Rolling Along their fight song towards several residence halls on campus. This is the sort of harmless trolling that accompanies good rivalries, especially those with geographic proximity. The folks at SB Nation's NC State blog, Backing the Pack, gives us the twitrospective here.

Apparently the high brass of the Marching Tar Heels feel the gauntlet was thrown. A few of their trumpets took to YouTube to whip 'em out in a challenge to NC State, the pinnacle of which was a high (several octaves above middle C. I can't tell you how many. I'm a drummer) D that one of the trio nearly (yes, he falls  short. Even a drummer can hear that) hits, followed by an invite to "see [them] on the 50".



For those wondering what the point even is of recording a lick from marching band standard Malaguena, allow me to shed a little light. First of all, for those unfamiliar with the trumpet personality/stereotype/reality, I'll point you to the diagram and equate the trumpets with wide receivers. The ego, the braggadocio, and the cocksure sense of self are all there. This particular trumpeter--I can't even put it on the trio, as two were really just playing supporting role--saw fit to show off his prowess with an admittedly impressively high note. You see, while there are many qualities to being a good player, one that first trumpets tend to latch onto is how high they can play. For maximum effort, hold it a beat beyond when the director cuts you off. It's practically an end zone dance!

So to recap, the PSOTS took their fight to the Heels' door, while three members of the Marching Tar Heels took to the internet for a lukewarm callout. I'm scoring this one decisively for NC State. And while I admittedly got a bit fired up about this, I also run a sports and marching/athletic music blog. Most everyone else is probably shaking their head and saying, "band nerds."
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