THE BAND STAND
by Elizabeth Johnson, WGA registered
“Drumline” meets “Friday Night Lights” meets “Revenge of the Nerds” (i.e. Revenge of the Music Geeks)
In the small, economically depressed town of Heartland, Ohio, where high school football is the only thing that matters, the MARCHING BAND must come up with a way to keep the games going, so our lead can hold onto his hope of making it to college on a band scholarship after a massive cheating scandal leaves the entire football team and coaches suspended for the season.
Much to the disappointment of his jock father, the only thing PAUL, 17, has ever dreamed of is getting a band scholarship, preferably to University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, who play at the Rosebowl. While other high schoolers paper their bedrooms with posters of Tom Brady or Jenna Jamison, Paul’s got John Philip Sousa tooting his horn and J.S. Bach to back him up. Unlike Paul’s sporty-gifted younger sister, Paul loathes sports, never had any friends outside of music class or marching band, and has never gone on a date in his life.
When his dad’s job transfers the family from California to Ohio, Paul is a senior in high school. A former Blue Devil, a respected marching band in Northern California, Paul is used to high standards. To his dismay, the band of Heartland High, the Bellwethers, is a rag-tag group of outcasts led by their director, MS. CHISM, a jaded alcoholic.
But to Paul’s glee, he finds out that though they may be a motley crew, they’re dedicated when given proper leadership. When the budget is cut even further, the band members sew their own uniforms by hand. Music is a labor of love, or at least something to do after school while everyone else is doing sports.
After the football team is suspended, Paul is forced to put the band to the ultimate test. Using the marching band formations and applying them to the field, Paul leads the band not only to play music, but to play football. Though the football team plots their downfall, each member of the band fights to find his or her place on the gridiron and does what she or he needs to survive a game – all so they can play their instruments at half-time and go for the brass.