wiser huang grignon band bash

Solon High School seniors Megan Wiser, from left, and A. J. Huang and sophomore Julia Grignon get ready for Band Bash, 7 p.m. Saturday at the stadium.

The 13th annual Solon Band Bash will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday at Stewart Field. Ten marching bands from Northeast Ohio will regale the audience with a variety of energizing music, colorful uniforms, dances, marches and rotations. As the host and largest ensemble, the 340-member Solon High School Marching Band, including instrumentalists and the Starlettes drill team, will conclude the evening’s entertainment.

Band Bash, supported by Solon Music Parents, is one of the major fundraisers for music programs that kick off the school year. Instrumental program students will also be involved in Tag Day, from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 21. Students will pair up and go door to door in Solon neighborhoods to provide a concert schedule and request donations.

Cabaret Night, a fundraiser set for 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in the auditorium, showcases the talent of the individual members of the show choir Music in Motion. This year’s event includes 43 student groups in the three-act show. The evening also features a silent auction with bidding online.

Some students are preparing for both Band Bash and Cabaret Night. High school senior A.J. Huang, 17, a saxophonist and high school band president, also plays in the show choir band. In addition to getting ready for Band Bash, he recently spent several hours of his own time arranging music for Cabaret Night. “My passion is to go into music, mainly jazz,” said A.J., who’s getting ready for college auditions. “Splitting my time between music and school work is difficult. But you get used to it after four years and it’s all worth it.”

Julia Grignon, 15, who plays bass drum for the marching band, is a singer-dancer in MIM. In addition, following in the footsteps of her brother, Caleb, a Solon 2018 graduate, she’s a competitive Irish dancer. “I love doing all of it,” Julia said. “It’s hard work, but rewarding.” Julia will perform an Irish dance called “Slip Jig” on Cabaret Night.

When it comes to music, senior Megan Wiser, 17, also wears many hats. With prior experience as a competitive dancer, Megan serves as captain of the Starlettes dance team. Megan, the band librarian, performs with the Starlettes during the marching band season and plays the flute with the concert band. In addition, she has served as dance captain for the past two Solon High School Drama Club spring musicals.

“The kids are incredibly talented,” said music teacher and marching band director Mark Mauldin. A professional trombonist in musical theater, civic orchestras and nationally televised awards shows, Mr. Mauldin helps provide inspiration for his students.

Solon’s other band directors include Rob Luce, Gerry MacDougall and Stephanie DeLine. The Starlettes drill team works under adviser Kelly Wilson.

At Band Bash, the Comets’ band will perform a show that includes songs “Purple Haze” (Jimi Hendrix); “Green Onions” (Booker T and the M.G.’s); “I Hate Myself for Loving You (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts); and “Heartbreaker” (Pat Benatar).

The band extravaganza should once again fill the home side of Solon’s 5,500-seat stadium. All of the bands will sit on the track in front of the field. Guest bands include Aurora, Chardon, Hudson, James Garfield, Lakeside, Madison, Orange, Twinsburg and West Geauga.

Solon Band Bash is supported by nearly 100 volunteers, according to Solon Music Parents President Jody Halley. Proceeds from the fundraiser go directly to band instruments, uniform purchase and maintenance and scholarships.

“Solon Music Parents now include choir and orchestra in all of the schools from fifth through 12th grade,” Ms. Halley said. “Our district encourages musical participation in all areas. It goes hand-in-hand that we are able to support all the music groups. We also have a Friends of Solon Music Parents program for all of the community members who want to get involved in supporting the organization. We love for them to come to our concerts, pasta dinner and Band Bash.”

Gates open for Band Bash at 6 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the gate.

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