Following a disappointing 2017 campaign in which it placed 15th at the 3A state finals, the Greer High School marching band has put together a competition program perfectly suited to its mindset heading into this season.

“The concept is kind of looking at things that prevent you from doing your best,” said senior band captain Maddy Matthews, who plays the piccolo. “It’s about fear and the walls that keep you from achieving all that you can.”

The title of the show is “Walls of the Mind.”

“It’s a very abstract kind of production,” said band director Jeff Norman, now in his 12th year at Greer. “We actually have eight walls on the field that will be moved from time to time. The whole idea is to think about how our minds get trapped behind things and how sometimes we don’t know who we are and what’s going on within our minds.”

The marching Yellow Jackets hope to take the message to heart and figuratively tear down the walls that prevented them from having greater competition success last year.

“Try to be better than you were yesterday and have passion,” junior drum major Xavier Johnson said of what he and the rest of the leadership team want to instill in younger members of the marching band. “I think if they have a drive and are willing to put forth the effort, they’ll be set for the rest of the season.”

Matthews said thinking in terms of small everyday accomplishments will go a long way toward breaking down the marching Yellow Jackets’ own “walls of the mind.”

“I think where we messed up last year is that we had this grand goal in mind,” she said. “Whereas if you break it down to the everyday stuff and just be better than you were yesterday, you can be more successful in the long run.”

Musically, the show has a bit of a dark element, which especially appeals to junior percussion captain Micaiah Corbitt.

“Sometimes you get a lot of happy shows, but, for me personally, I just gravitate to a lot more dark music,” he said. “Sometimes that type of music has the ability to (convey) a lot more emotion to the audience.”

While most of the music in the show will be what Norman describes as “typical classical band literature,” it will also include a rendition of contemporary pop star Christina Perri’s 2013 power ballad, “Human.”

The physical walls that are a major part of the visual component of the show will also provide a platform for multiple instrumental soloists.

“The soloists will at one point be up on top of the walls, and the walls will move throughout the show,” Matthews said. “I’m not sure exactly what the color guard will do, but I’m sure that part will be very colorful and very vibrant like it always is.”

Norman said the Greer band, with about 70 marchers, is a bit smaller than in previous years.

“I just want them to have fun. That’s the bottom line,” he said. “They do all this work and I want them to be great at what they do, but, at the end of the day when this is all said and done, I’ll ask them, ‘Did you have fun doing it? That’s the only thing I want you to answer for me.’

“And if they say no, then we did something wrong.”