The Mountain will be alive with the sound of music

Photo submitted to Times Observer Music on the Mountain will be running for the fourth year starting Friday.

The music is back.

The Sheffield Music Boosters is again hosting Music on the Mountain. The drum corps event will be celebrating its fourth year running starting Friday, with four bands on the roster.

Last year’s show, said Sheffield K-12 music teacher Sarah Korchak, was shortened due to weather, which was disappointing not just to spectators but to those running the event as well.

This year, the forecast is favorable and everyone is excited to see music returning to Wolverine Mountain.

It was a faltering music program that brought the event to being, said Korchak, who’s been a music teacher for over 30 years but a lover of music all her life.

Times Observer photo by Stacey Gross Emily Dawson, of New Hampshire, is just one of many who have made drum corps a way of life.

With a mother and aunt who were music teachers, a love of music is in Korchak’s blood. She was disappointed with the dying out of the music program at Sheffield and vowed to undertake its resurrection.

Music on the Mountain, according to Korchak, has provided inspiration to students and she’s seeing the numbers of students in the school’s music program rise as that inspiration takes root.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, July 27, at Sheffield Area High School. It will be opened by Sheffield students with the national anthem.

At 7:10, Raiders, a corps from New Jersey, will take the field with their repertoire “Beowulf.”

Following Raiders will be 7th Regiment, of Connecticut and New London, with their repertoire “In a Different Light.”

Following an intermission Spartans, of Nashua N.H., will be presenting their repertoire “Da Vinci’s Workshop,” and the night will end with Legends, of Michigan, with their repertoire “Along Came a Spider.”

So what exactly is drum corps?

“Its a competitive art form similar to marching band,” said Lennie Machado, of the Spartans, “but with the addition of theatrics.”

It’s musical theatre with brass and percussion, but without singing, Machado said.

And it’s a passion for those who participate in it. “It’s really all about the kids” who participate, said Machado.

“They pay to work this hard,” Korchak said of the students making up the four bands playing this year. “They sleep on gym floors, they shower in locker rooms. They support themselves through all of it.”

Just ask Emily Dawson of the Spartans. Dawson said she was in marching band in high school because she loved the lifestyle and she loved the music, but she was missing one thing.

“I wanted to be challenged,” said Dawson. “I wanted to grow as a person and as a musician.”

Drum corps gave her that experience in spades.

Dawson is a music teacher for three separate high schools in New Hampshire. When she’s not practicing — which is not often — she likes to visit Maine with friends and work on her car.

“It’s definitely a lifestyle,” said Dawson.

Those who participate in drum corps can spend 10-to-12 hours on a practice, or around six-to-eight on show days. It’s not cheap in terms of time, energy, or money, he said, and it takes passion more than anything else to be competitive.

Korchak and other event organizers suggest arriving at the venue early for the best parking and seating, as the show is popular and both fill up fast. Visit sheffieldboosters.github.io to learn more about Music on the Mountain or order tickets.


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