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The Live Wire

The Final Frontier: behind Liberty’s halftime show

In the midst of football season, explore the marching band and color guards process of putting together a halftime show.
Colorguard members like Rylee Corbett, 10, must be careful while performing in between marching band members.
Chris Miller
Colorguard members like Rylee Corbett, 10, must be careful while performing in between marching band members.

From the Super Bowl to high school games, halftime shows have played an essential role in football for decades. They’ve evolved into a well-loved tradition throughout America, and Liberty High School is no different. With the recent addition of a color guard performance, the Liberty halftime show is reaching new heights this year.

Most Friday nights, football crowds are treated to a meticulously crafted performance from the marching band and color guard. However, the countless hours spent perfecting the show beforehand often go unrecognized. These dedicated groups typically begin work on the halftime show before the school year has even begun. 

“Band camp is the week before school starts… we’re there for the length of a school day, every day, for a week,” described Vicky Acas, 12.

Band camp is a time for the band to begin learning their set for that season’s halftime show. With a different theme and new music each year, performers must work diligently to master the show and piece together each component. 

Despite coming together to perform as one, each individual performer plays their own role in shaping the show’s success. Acas, alongside Connor Dallner, 11, and Heath Lane, 12, carries a unique responsibility as a drum major in the marching band.

“I [as well as Dallner and Lane] help the underclassmen on figuring out where their spots are on the field… we’re the eyes for the band, and help the directors with whatever’s going on,” said Acas. “I know that not a lot of them [underclassmen] know upperclassmen, so it’s nice to be comfortable with them and give them someone to look up to.”

Vicky Acas, 12, one of three drum majors, leads the band through marching, rehearsals, and performances. (Chris Miller)

Although, showcasing weeks of hard work is exhilarating, one downside that marching band students face is not getting to join the action in the stands until the very end. 

“Personally I love being in the student section, so sometimes I’m kinda sad that I don’t get to sit up there. I wish I could be in the student section and do the halftime show at the same time, but most of the time I’m happy to be marching,” commented Ella Gilbert, 12, who plays saxophone for the marching band. 

Band members aren’t the only ones practicing in the heat of summer though, the Lightning Color Guard began working alongside them when the group first formed in 2022. With a team that’s nearly doubled in size since then, color guard has persevered through challenges to put on their show. 

“Budget is always the biggest challenge because color guard has a lot of equipment that needs purchased. We didn’t want it to just come from the band fund… so we put in some grants and were lucky to get those,” explains Amanda Carlo, math teacher and coach of Liberty’s color guard.

The color guard compliments this year’s theme, titled “The Final Frontier,” with galaxy-inspired uniforms and flags. The show pays homage to Star Trek and space, incorporating music from stars like David Bowie and Elton John. 

Carlo expressed, “I just love watching the kids perform, it’s a high. When they perform they always get off [the field] like, ‘Oh that was so much fun, I want to do that again’. Helping them put together that project is so much fun.”

The marching band and color guards performances are not exclusive to football games, they can also be seen performing at a variety of events, both within and outside of school. They’ll play at both Liberty and the University of Iowa’s (UI) homecoming parades, and conclude their season with band extravaganzas at Liberty and UI.

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About the Contributor
Piper Kearney
Piper Kearney, Copy Editor
Piper is a senior at Liberty and this is her second year on staff as Copy Editor! She plays softball and participates in Liberty's art club. When she's not at school Piper loves reading, making collage art, and eating sushi!