Panther Regiment’s own magic


Calvin Prenkert

Members of the Panther Regiment perform during the halftime of the South football team’s win over Terre Haute North.

Hanh Tam Bui, Staff Writer

24k Magic, a tribute to Bruno Mars, Panther Regiment’s 2019 show theme, joins past noteworthy PR themes such as Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind, and Fire. The songs for this year include “24K Magic,” “Treasure,” and “Uptown Funk.” 

Having songs from a modern artist like Mars is a new direction for the band, and students involved in Panther Regiment have noticed some other differences this year compared to the previous years with now retired band director Bob Dubinski.

Nick Michaels is a junior in the color guard. “The only year I had Dubie the show theme was Homage, a tribute to the first marching band he helped run. So they did quite a lot of older music because it was from when Dubie first started working. I think this show theme is more recognizable for the audience,” said Michaels. 

Megan Jerke, a senior and the drum major this year, also noted a change in routine as they’ve started warm ups and stretches before practice. “There is more a focused element like getting yourself into the mindset for rehearsal, which is a lot different than what I’m used to,” said Jerke. 

While there are changes this year, they seem to be welcomed as the new band director is Will Nicholas, who assisted Dubinski for two years, meaning he’s had the chance to observe the inner workings of Panther Regiment. “That gave me a good time to see how marching band sees and progresses, and what we should be like at the start and how to get there. It also gave me time to develop relationships with the students,” said Nicholas.

He detailed the process of coming to the Bruno Mars theme through what people would recognize most, a tradition for the band, as well as wanting to have Panther Regiment cover a current artist. 

Overall the response to the Bruno Mars tribute has been positive. “We’ve been getting pretty good reception at our halftime shows. We performed all three movements of our show [at the North vs. South game], and I think ‘Uptown Funk’ is really good on the crowd participation with the clapping and stuff, so I think it’s been pretty well received,” said Michaels. 

In addition to school support, Panther Regiment’s performance has been the subject of praise on the competition level. “At competition, we get a really big reaction from other bands we’re competing against. They really dig the show,” said Nicholas.

With competition season, they have managed to get themselves in the top four at different invitationals, even winning first place at the Pride of Paoli Invitational on Sept. 21. 

People in band also had their own praises to share with the theme. “It’s very energetic, very upbeat. It’s a party basically, which is keeping with what Panther Regiment normally does in picking an artist or a theme,” Jerke said. “There isn’t a difference in energy because we always like to hype up the audience. With the Bruno Mars theme, I really like my uniform a lot. I get this shiny gold jacket and a baseball cap with 24K Magic logo on it, which is really cool. So being gold and shiny is a benefit definitely.”