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Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Payson High School drum major Ashley Ferrell stands at attention at the Nebo Tournament of Bands.

The 81 members of the Lone Peak High School Marching Band wear black, the perfect color for their upcoming field show, "Midnight in Transylvania."

However, the color guard provides the real color in red outfits that look like fire and brimstone with black Dracula-style capes for accent, said band teacher Kirk McKendrick.

"It's just your basic vampire show," he said.

The theme fits the Halloween season, he added.

Other Utah County high school bands aren't quite so dramatic.

"Our focus is on the music this year," said Pleasant Grove High School band teacher Vince Burgoyne.

The band's theme is "Music of Aaron Copland." Copland is a modern American composer who crafted such tunes as "Appalachian Spring," "Hoedown," and "Fanfare for the Common Man," all of which the 57-member band (including color guard) will perform.

"There'll be no big surprises," he said.

American Fork's marching band — which has consistently taken top honors in the big band open category for the past 15 years in both state and regional contests — will be strutting to a show called "Hypar Effect" with three movements: the dome, the sphere and the helicoid.

Written by John Meehan, the show is the culmination of more than 200 hours' practice on the field for the 203 members, said band director John Miller.

The Spanish Fork High School Marching Band has picked the theme "King Kong," said director Brent Smith.

At Payson High School, the host school for the Nebo Invitational, the music comes from "Cirque du Soleil."

"Our band is performing music in four movements titled, 'Atmadja,' 'Ninkou Latora,' 'Quidam' and 'Incantations,"' said band director Brad Collins.

"We have 80 members in the Payson High School 'Pride of the Lions' marching band," he said.

Springville's high school band has prepared a Latin-theme show, said band teacher Seretta Hart. The band's 56 members learned their field routine in band camp last August, which includes a variety of Latin tunes.

"We've been perfecting it," she said. "The style is fun. Everybody is enthusiastic about it."

Bands field show schedule:

Oct. 7 — Mount Timpanogos Invitational, Mountain View High School, 645 W. Center, Cost: $5. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 — Rocky Mountain Festival, BYU LaVell Edwards Football Stadium, 1700 N. Canyon Road, Provo, Cost: $5. Starts at 4 p.m.

Oct. 17 — Davis Cup, Davis High School, 325 S. Main, Kaysville. Cost: $5. Starts at 3 p.m.

Oct. 21 — Bridgerland Band Invitational, Utah State Romney stadium, Logan, Cost: $5. Starts at 10 a.m.

E-mail: rodger@desnews.com; haddoc@desnews.com