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Blue Raider Marching Band Preview August 2011
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Bigger Blue Raider Marching Band Ready to Take the Field in 2011

Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 [9:05 PM]

Blue Raider Marching Band01 August 2011
LWC Director of Instrumental Ensembles Tim Allen watches field commander Leanna
Begley conduct the Blue Raider Marching Band during Monday afternoon's rehearsal.

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- When the Lindsey Wilson College football team opens the 2011 season on Saturday evening at Blue Raider Stadium, they will be welcomed onto the field by a bigger and stronger Blue Raider Marching Band.

This year's Blue Raider Marching Band features 48 musicians, up from 32 members it fielded during its 2010 debut season.

"I had a plan in mind, and it's pretty much on schedule right now as far as what my expectations were and how we are -- both in numbers and quality," said LWC Director of Instrumental Ensembles Tim Allen. "I'm very satisfied. The program still has a long way to go, but as far as our progress from when the program started in terms of where the program is now, it's on schedule."

The progress of the Blue Raider Marching Band was evident on Saturday night at the Mark Twain Band Festival at Adair County High School Booster Field. After playing a couple numbers for the standing-room-only audience, the Blue Raider Marching Band received a thunderous ovation.

"The quality of the music that they are playing is about what I expected at this point, which is pretty good," said Allen, who directed the award-winning Adair County High School Marching Band for 19 years before coming to LWC in 2009.

Helping Allen lead this year's Blue Raider Marching Band is LWC student Leanna Begley of Lebanon, Ky.

An accounting major, Begley was picked last spring to be this year's field commander. Begley was selected following an interview and audition process that included a panel of outside judges.

"She's done an outstanding job," Allen said. "There was little question she was the right person for the job."

As field commander, Begley will be called on to be "a combination of drill sergeant and compassionate caretaker," Allen said.

"But in addition to setting an example, the most important job the field commander has in my book is to keep a steady beat and help control the tempo of the music that is being played," he said. That's the most important aspect of her job, as far as I'm concerned."

Begley, who plays flute when she isn't conducting the Blue Raider Marching Band, said that she's always wanted to be a field commander. Before coming to LWC, she spent three years in the Marion County (Ky.) High School marching band.

"All through high school, I always wanted to be field commander," Begley said. "I never got that chance, and I felt like I could make a big influence on the college level if I got that opportunity."

For 2011-12, Begley has two goals: earn a 4.0 grade point average while being the kind of field commander "everyone looks up to."

That's why the band's performance at this year's Mark Twain Festival was an important first step, she said.

"Last Saturday at Mark Twain, it was awesome," Begley said. "We had so many people tell us how well we did and how good we sounded. It was exciting just to hear all of the people screaming for us."

More ...
Click here for a Q&A with Leanna Begley.

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