By Carson Huffer
Congratulations to all of our 2023 Open class finalists! Review their productions below in order of Finals placement.
With a light-up metronome in the back of the floor and an effortlessly cool energy about themselves, Westfield High School tore the house down with their 2023 program “Falling Through Forever”. Fosse-inspired dancing and a jazzy upbeat sound began the ticking clock, with the first movement including an impressive flute duet and powerful brass bends that wowed the crowd. A stunning performance of “Falling” by Harry Styles pushed the show further along, featuring four performers on keys, saxophone, clarinet, and flute before the entire ensemble joined for an immense final hit of the chorus. As the clock continued to tick faster and faster, Westfield found themselves falling to the ground and reaching towards the clock that forever keeps ticking to close out a powerful final performance of “Falling Through Forever”.
Miamisburg High School gave new meaning to the motion of bouncing with their energetic 2023 production, “Bounce”. With bouncy balls wedged in their instruments, trampolines at the ready for jumping, and music that demands dancing, the bouncing theme of the show was utilized in every possible way. After an incredibly expansive closing hit, a dance party broke out to “Jump Around” that the audience couldn’t help but join along in. The smiles and joy of Miamisburg High School radiated throughout UD Arena as no one could stop bouncing along with “Bounce”.
Focused on the threads that bind both physical items and also emotional connections, Dartmouth High School’s program entitled “Fiber” certainly connected with the crowd. Interconnected multicolored poles set a variety of stages and anchored the performers as they pulled towards one another during a lush rendition of Vienna Teng’s “Hymn of Acxiom”. Ending with a chain of performers connecting together and two performers embraced in a tight hug, Dartmouth High School’s emotional performance reminded everyone just how important the various kinds of “Fiber” that bind us together are.
Daviess County HS
Daviess County High School’s production “Storm and Sea” caught the performers’ latest adventure of sailing the temperamental waters of the ocean. As the captain of the ship sailed around the floor, the ensemble gradually descended into more harrowing scores of music. The ensemble continued to fight the current in a final push towards the coast, but disaster brought about the end of their show with a capsized ship and shipmates lost to the water forever. While the crew of “Storm and Sea” may not have survived their fateful final voyage, Daviess County High School brought WGI finals an aquatic journey made for the history books with “Storm and Sea”.
Robert Vela HS
The court jesters of Robert Vela High School arrived in style with their show entitled “Jester of Kings”. As the show opened with a bright trumpet solo from the king of the land, the ensemble of jesters then took him on a journey of jokes and hijinks through whimsical musical selections and a variety of games on the floor. After the jesters laugh at the king when he takes a particularly nasty fall, the music turns from playful to dramatic as the king rages in a fury against the jesters and their chaos. The king’s tirade doesn’t last long, however, as the show closes with sudden mutiny and a jester stealing the crown for themself – starting the reign of chaos and jokes for all to see.
Mt. Juliet HS
Exploring the many waves of life, Mt. Juliet High School’s 2023 production “Tidal” wowed the audience with a deep and vibrant soundscape to wade through. Mt. Juliet started bold with a massive trumpet solo as the performers draped in waves of green and purple coasted through movements with ease. This stunning show ended with three flyovers of fabric pulling from the wave backdrops claiming all performers except a lone flute soloist holding strong amongst the moving water until they succumbed to the tide themselves. WGI finals certainly witnessed the best of Mt. Juliet High School with their expressive and powerful performance of “Tidal”.
The optometrist’s office lays out the stage for LSM Winds’ program “See Life Clearly”. As someone calls into LSM’s office with cloudy vision, the performers move around a massive pair of glasses on the floor. Conducting a full vision test for the patient, vocals read out the lines of letters on the tarp while each side of the floor simulates the individual eye. As the eyes are then dilated and made sensitive to light, the ensembles’ uniforms light up and bring forward clear vision for the patient. Now able to see clearly thanks to the optometrists of LSM, the ensemble loses their doctors jackets in favor of bright yellow and gold uniforms for a final powerful explosion of sound that made UD Arena truly “See Life Clearly”!
“Voyage to Valhalla” brought traditional mythology to the finals floor as Valhalla Winds journeyed to the fabled hall of slain Norse warriors. Led by a valkyrie draped in gold, the members of the ensemble performed a harrowing journey to the god Odin’s protective heaven. As an alluring clarinet solo of the valkyrie rang out, the performers gained white cloaks and were accepted into the ranks of the worthy warriors in the afterlife. Valhalla Winds’ journey to the warriors’ heaven was engaging and beautifully performed in “Voyage to Valhalla”, truly creating Odin’s perfect afterlife for all to hear.
With spray paint cans sounding a graffitied brick wall floor, Chromium Winds exploded onto the floor with a colorful blend of sound in “The Wall”. A feature of Sam Smith’s “Writing’s On The Wall” showcased half of the members dancing with colorful rope flags and a french horn solo before the brass members of the ensemble smashed into a powerful hit. Bathing the floor in color with fabric releasing from the spray paint cans in the back corners of the floor, every member was additionally dashed with a bit of colorful fabric draped over their uniform. Chromium Winds’ smashing final burst of sound pulled a rainbow of fabrics from their front of the floor paint can with their colorful final performance of “The Wall”.
MBI Winds dropped into WGI finals to say a quick “Hello!”. With greetings in various languages and an impressive backflip, the first movement felt like a joyous first greeting. “Hello!” can be said with a variety of energies, however, and MBI explored a more tentative and cautious greeting as a soloist ran throughout the floor trying to find someone to connect with and respond to his greeting with vocals from Lionel Richie’s “Hello”. The sound of a knock at the door signaled another new greeting as the ensemble waved in welcome to friends new and old with renewed vigor. With such a fun and relatable emotional journey of the greetings that get us through life, the audience never wanted MBI Winds to say goodbye!
Evidence Winds from William Carey University
Bringing ancient Egypt to Dayton, William Carey University’s Evidence Winds brought a reckoning to UD Arena with their performance of “The Exodus”. With the ensemble’s hands chained together due to enslavement by ancient pharaohs, a dance soloist playing Moses swept into the show with demands to free the ensemble. After Moses yelled out “Let my people go!”, the chains holding together the ensemble’s hands were finally nearly freed from the pharaoh’s hold. After throwing their chains to the ground, Evidence exploded in sound with a renewed fury to close out the show as a free people once more.
Showcasing the world of mysticism, Quixotic saw visions with their 2023 show “Crystal Ball”. Utilizing the crystal ball to see visions, a standout flute and alto saxophone duet entered the show into a magical dream state of fortunes and futures. Quixotic’s expressive and otherworldly show explored beautiful musical selections and gazed into the ether with their bright final performance of “Crystal Ball”.