Pandora Reopened


Ian Johnson, Staff Writer

Persevering through the pandemic and coming out strong, the 2021-2022 Thunderbird Marching Band performs their stunning marching show at every home football game and even competition. Gordon Williford, Director of Instrumental Music says “This year’s show is Pandora Reopened.” It consists of four songs: PrologueA Time of JoyA Time of Dread, and A Time of War. In the show, you can hear what’s called Dies Irae, Latin for “day of wrath,” which sets the scene and tone for the performance.   

In a way, The show Pandora Reopened was inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic and having to do band online. For many, the past year and a half have been full of chaos and woe. Mr. Williford describes Pandora as “neither good nor evil… just chaotic.” The students had a few options to choose from, but the majority chose Pandora Reopened. “The music really resonated with everyone” reports Mr. Williford. Coming back to Dies Irae, no one truly knows who wrote it, adding to the sense of chaos and emotion you feel throughout the show. 

Despite having about a 3-week late start to this marching season and losing a large portion of the band, Mr. Williford expresses that he is very proud, and the band has “stepped up big time.” Students come every school day at 6:45am to practice their passion for music and dedication to the school. The music for this year’s performance resonated with staff and students according to Mr. Williford.

When asked about their band experience, Samuel Watson, a senior in the baritone section shared,   “Doing marching band my first two years of high school was so energizing and I was always having a blast. Once we went online we couldn’t really do anything. I started to not show up since I was losing motivation for every other class I was taking. Coming back felt really weird at first and everyone seemed a little off. Now we’re doing a lot better than we were, but it’s still not the same. We went from close to 100 band members to close to 70 and oftentimes many people are out sick.” This was a common experience shared between band members. Many have since strived to make Pandora Opened one of the best shows to compensate for the loss of time and people. When the band performed at the district festival they came out best out of all nine schools in the Glendale Union High School District. The band and administration received many compliments that night.

In addition, the homecoming parade was accompanied by the marching band. The band played the victorious Thunderbird High School fight song and uplifting beats to preface the night to come. At the homecoming football game, the band played their fourth movement, a Time of War,  before the game started and celebrated at the end by showcasing the entirety of Pandora Reopened. To finish the marching season, Thunderbird marching band earned their way to state championships making THS history.

Pandora Reopened shares a story; a story of life, a story of chaos. The notes float around your heart as you let the music drift you away into Pandora’s box. Thunderbird’s marching band is an experience that should not be missed.