What started out as a one time effort to encourage a bunch of kids has turned into a 10 year tradition. Jane and Dan Robbins did their "skit" for the Northview Marching Knights last night after the band finished their last rehearsal before performing at the State Marching Band Finals tomorrow. The parents also do a skit for the band but they did their show Wednesday night.
Northview will take the field at 10:26 a.m. Saturday in the Class B competition at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Their show is titled "Music in the Key of Green".
Ten years ago, Jane, who is probably the Marching Knights' number one booster, thought the kids didn't seem to be jelling as they had in the past.
The band often got their music from a Broadway musical. When possible, director Bob Medworth, took the kids to see the play before the marching season started. But that year they were unable to attend a production of "Sunset Boulevard".
Because of that, Jane thought maybe the kids couldn't understand this show's concept as well as they had the others. So she came up with a poem and skit using Sunset Boulevard as the theme. She convinced Dan to join her and a tradition was born. The kids loved it.
This year's performance is special to Bob and Ruthann Medworth. Their daughter, Whitney, is a senior. This will be her last high school state performance. Also, "Music in the Key of Green" was partially composed by former staff members and friends of the Medworths, John Vanderkolff and Frank Sullivan.
According to Jane, Vanderkolff is currently working on a musical project in London. Sullivan and Bob Medworth worked together with the Star of Indiana. The music is based on the color green being a positive sign in life and the show is about optimism.
This year Jane could find no theme to focus on other than the title. So she picked up on the green and went with "Green Acres". She dressed as Lisa Douglas in a full length fur coat and with eyelashes as long as a trombone slide. With Dan, as Oliver Wendell Douglas, they came out on a "Green Acres" float pulled by David Evans on a John Deere tractor.
They sang lyrics Jane had written to the tune of "Green Acres". And they read "Music in the Key of Green," an original poem penned by Jane. The band kids, staff, parents and boosters loved it. They are ready!
When asked why she is so enthused and involved with the band Jane explained.
"I have always loved the band. I was in the band at Van Buren as a majorette and played the flute. Buz Burgess was the band director. Then my daughter, Jennifer, started in the Northview drill team and winter guard in 1985. Now my grandson, Kyle Hayes, plays in the Pit. That's part of the percussion section that stays on the sideline.
"We always tell the kids that we love them and they're the greatest band in the state of Indiana. And we let them know that all of them are our grandkids."
With enthusiasm and a big smile, Jane continued, "I plan to be a band supporter until I'm laying in my casket. And I've told the Medworths, there better be a pyramid of flags and rifles arched up over me by the drill team with the band playing a medley of all their state final performances from 1985 up to the day I die. I'm that nuts about the Northview Band."