Lincoln-Way East Performance Art Ensemble Marching Griffins Prepares for a Blissful 2015 Season
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Students in the award-winning Lincoln-Way East Marching Griffins spent much of their summer in band camp preparing for their 2015 competition show production entitled Bliss.

Bliss is a performance art concept that attempts to encapsulate the imagery of perfect things, both literal and figurative, we experience in our lives, said Bert Johnson, the director of the Marching Griffins. Our imaginations and our experiences have such powerful influence on us. Our own Bliss is unique to those connections of what we believe is exceptional and even perfect in tandem with what we have witnessed or shared with others.

Bliss features music from the album We Like It Here by 2014 Grammy award winners Snarky Puppy. Selections from the album include: Lingus, Shofukan, and Sleeper as well as a musical selection by Eric Whitacre entitled Bliss. Snarky Puppy is known for its mixture of jazz, funk and world music and fuses musical tradition with conceptual innovation.

Snarky Puppy came to Lincoln-Way East in June to provide a private concert for the students and to educate the Marching Griffins members on how to establish an authentic connection with an audience during a live performance.

During band camp, students have learned choreography, body movement, marching drills, and musical technique from several trained specialists.

This is our 15th season at Lincoln Way East and our students are extremely motivated to share the originality and complexity of this production as well as many of the special effects and design elements they are learning about and practicing each day. said director Bert Johnson.

As a tribute to our school and as part of the design aesthetic, black and white modern, chic costumes are being made for the Marching Griffins this season with a print on each sleeve that reads Lincoln-Way and Ever True in scripted verse, Johnson said.

In addition to the students commitment, the Marching Griffins have an exceptional network of support.

Our Music Boosters of parents and community members donate an enormous level of manpower and support and without them, our shows would not be possible, said Johnson. The Marching Griffins have a whole team of technicians in place dedicated to facilitating the band in its trendsetting within the visual and performance arts

The staff includes: Lentz Design Group, Conceptual, Drill and Music Design;
Matt Block, Program Coordinator; Angelo Makropoulos, Assistant Director Percussion/Technology; Brian Geary, Assistant Director Technical/Field Staff; and Midori Eng, Colorguard Director. Music/Visual Technical Staff Includes:
Ari Corbin, Colorguard; Taylor Beekman, Winds; Jessica Sheetz, Winds; Greg Rife, Winds; David Zajeski, Percussion; Noel Henniger, Percussion and Kurt Lezon, Percussion.

The East community concert is scheduled for September 12 at 7 p.m at the East High School Stadium. The community has numerous opportunities to see the four high school marching bands perform: the Frankfort Fall Fest Parade; the Manhattan Labor Day Parade; and sections of their competitive shows during the halftime of the schools' home football games.