In the spirit of "Friday Night Lights," Laine presents the stirring story of a marching band from small-town middle America in this snapshot of a heartland community and its triumphs, disappointment, and drama.
"Kristen Laine went back to the heartland-- to the America so many of us fly over without blinking an eye-- and uncovered ... a world where salvation and ambition and teenage angst collide in strange ways no outsider could ever understand, unless you read "American Band"."
--Michael Bamberger, author of "Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School"
Every fall, marching bands take to the field in a uniquely American ritual. From the stands, it looks easy. You dont see them sweat. For millions of kids, band is more than a show. Its a rite of passagea first foray into leadership and adult responsibility, and a chance to learn what it means to be part of a community. Nowhere is band more serious than at Concord High School in Elkhart, Indiana, where the entire town is involved with the success of its defending state champion band, the Marching Minutemen.
In the place where this tradition may have originated, in the city that became the band instrument capital of the world, band is a religion. But its not the only religion, as director Max Jones discovers. After four decades, Joness single-minded devotion to musical excellence has fallen out of step with a younger generation increasingly focused on personal salvation. In what his students do not know is his final season of directing, he has assembled his most ambitious show ever, for the strongest senior class he has ever directed. Amid conflicting notions of greatness, the band marches through a season that starts in hope and promise, progresses through uncertainty and disappointment, and ends, ultimately, in redemption.
"AMERICAN BAND" is an unusually intimate chronicle of life, in all its triumph, disappointment, and drama, in the kind of community in which most of America lives. It is an especially timely portrait, capturing as it does the spirit of the heartland at a time of profound change. If you have ever beenor yearned to bepart of something bigger than yourself, you will be rooting for the kids whose voices fill this book.
|Title:||American Band: Music, Dreams, and Coming of Age in the Heartland||Publisher:||Gotham Books|
|No. of Pages:||324|
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