On September 3rd the Clark County Marching Indians begin their marching season by competing in the Labor Day Parade in Keokuk, Iowa the traditional first appearance of the band taking the street.
The 2007 Marching Indians will feature 115 members with 21 in the flag corps. The next appearance of the Marching Indians will be the Fort Madison Rodeo Parade and it just continues with local appearances at such events as the Old Settler’s Day Parade and Mule Festival. In October the band begins it’s season of field show competitions in Bloomfield, Iowa.
Clark County R-1 Music Instructor Mr. Robert Dooley, who is beginning his 26th year at the helm, spoke about the 2007 Marching Indians during an interview this past week. "Today (August 23) was our first day of actually marching. It’s always a little difficult and today was no different. However, I tell them that I’ve been doing this for 26 years
and if I could I would keep them from having to go through that first day. But there simply is no way around it. It’s a learning exercise, because you lose people from the previous year’s band. This is the time when the kids have to step up because the leader of their section or the kid who played loudest and all they had to do was follow, may no longer be there. We have been playing in the band room for a week now and they sounded really good and then when we got out on the street for the first time and I had to say, "Okay guys, somebody has to step up and play." But they are working very hard and its tough for them to start out the day all sweaty and then go about the rest of their school day. And to their credit no one complained about the conditions that were miserable. But as I tell them, the difference between being just a band in the parade or the "Best" band in the parade is the amount of working which they are willing to put in to their practice that translates to their performance. A lot of schools no longer do parades but I look at as having complete band and it’s something we have always been good at. So we work very hard for the first few weeks on our marching and then it’s on to field shows.
This year we as far as our performance in Bloomfield is concerned, the band and I look at it as our dress rehearsal in starting out the season. Sometimes it’s not real pretty and sometimes it is. It’s a tough place to compete because the Iowa schools are well into their field show season as they traditionally begin field show competitions the third week of September, while we are just getting started. Our season will last in to November. And although we are a few weeks behind them, we do all right and it’s a good challenge for us. This year, Bloomfield will be the night after our Homecoming, which is good for us since we try and do the whole show for Homecoming. This will give us an added reason to work harder this year in order to be ready for both Homecoming and Bloomfield. The music that we will be doing this year for our field show is from "Cirque Du Soleil" We performed from this last year, but there are actually nine different Cirque Du Soleil shows and the one we are performing this year is from the show, "Quidam" It was a fun show last year that the kids enjoyed, so we are pretty sure that they will enjoy performing this version for 2007. We traditionally begin working on our field shows the Tuesday after Labor Day. But how soon we begin on field shows is based on how quickly we pick up marching."
Assisting Mr. Dooley this year is Mr. Allen Gerling who is beginning his third year at Clark County. Nancy Huffman is assisting the flag corps during the week and the district is still looking for a flag sponsor.
There are also a great many parents behind the scenes serving as chaperones on trips as well as helping with equipment used by the band.