The Waynesville Tiger Pride Marching Band selects "Samurai: Way of the Warrior" as their football halftime show this season

WAYNESVILLE — As high school football halftime shows have become as elaborate as their college counterparts, the Waynesville marching band and color guard are putting together this season's rendition that is called “Samurai: Way of the Warrior.”

It's a show that Band Director Jim Stockmann and Student Teacher Joe Walker say was originally written for West Salem High School, a school in Oregon.

When Stockmann, Walker, and assistants Jared Sabatasso and Chelsea Samuel came across the show, they said they fell in love with it.

“We've never done an Asian themed show — ninja, samurai or anything like that before,” Stockmann said. “Back in last January or February we started looking and we came across this show and really liked it.”

After purchasing the show, they edited it to their band — creating solos and even writing their own percussion book.

“Joe Walker, our student teacher, is helping teach that as well as [Jared] Sabatasso,” Stockmann said.

The band performed the music that will accompany the show during the Meet the Tigers scrimmage that was held earlier this month. Stockmann said it was received well, particularly the new coming from the percussion.

“There's something about the Asian Taiko drums,” Stockmann said. “Joe and Jared have really worked with the percussion, the ensemble up front and the battery. It really showcases them.”

Stockmann says that group will be one of the strong suits of the band this year.

The movement that accompanies the show has not been installed yet, that part will still take some time to practice. Also, they haven't received it all yet from the writer.

“We contracted a guy out of Michigan that is in the writing process right now that is writing the drill,” Stockmann said. “We received the first 12 pictures yesterday and we'll start learning this Saturday.”

Parts of the movement will include a japanese pagoda and a part where the band will form two samurai swords.

Stockmann said he feels comfortable in saying Sept. 5 will be the first time movement will accompany the music.

“The show has three movements and the first two should be on the field by then,” Stockmann said.

There's no denying the fact the band ties a football game together.

A strong halftime performance keeps a crowd entertained while the coaches are rallying the troops in the locker room.

But the band also serves a purpose to the players too. Especially in Waynesville.

After practice on Friday morning, the band marched into the school and began performing through the hallways during first hour.

“This year we will do that every home game,” Stockmann said. “I got the idea when I was in high school, at Marshall, Missouri.”

Stockmann has been at Waynesville for 22 years, but he didn't get to start that tradition until 2006 because before that, the high school was where the middle school is now and it wasn't possible to march through the halls.

After the new high school was built, he decided game day mornings were going to be noisy.

“When we first started it we would come in the East end on the first floor and march straight down the hall to the band room,” he said. “Then the second and third floor teachers asked if we could come up stairs.”

The marching band used to do the routine every Friday that there was a game, but the band has gotten so large it takes nearly 25 minutes to make the trip through the school. So, they'll just disturb the peace during Fridays when there's a home game.

Which, is good enough for the students and players.

“It gets the students excited,” Stockmann said. “They pile out in the hall to watch.”