The Rebel Regiment is back for another season and the band promises that this year’s performance will be even better than the last.

Bryan Bone, is heading into his sixth year at Byrnes High and twenty-third year overall directing band. The band is coming off of a really good year, Bone said, having won the Upper State championship for the fifth year in a row and placing in the top 30 at grand nationals. This year, he feels the band has good chances, though it is a bit larger than most years with 232 members.

“I think we have 71 rookies,” Bone said. “We have a lot of new people, but our middle school directors do a great job training them, so we have a lot of rookies, but they’re really good. We don’t even feel like they’re new anymore.”

As a band that always tries to one-up themselves, the Byrnes team had quite the hurdle to jump when it came to this year’s performance, but they feel like they’ve managed it with their new narrative show, “Midnight in the Garden.” While they share a similar title, this show has no relation to the John Berendt novel. Instead, the band’s performance tells an “Alice in Wonderland”-style story of a girl who finds herself transported to a mysterious garden that seems friendly but is much darker than she realizes.

The band will be using a number of props and costumes, including topiaries, a fountain, and a giant clock, to set the scene.

“We’re going to basically turn the field into this mythical midnight garden where all these different things occur,” Bone said.

The mysterious story and scene will be accompanied by equally dramatic music, featuring a wide range of genres — everything from New Age and orchestral to minimalistic songs and movie soundtracks, including several pieces by composer Danny Elfman.

Drum majors Carley Willis, a rising junior, and Auburn Collins, a rising senior, were enthusiastic about the show and thought that audiences would love it.

“It’s like you think something’s going to happen and then it twists,” Collins said. “You’ll never know until the very end, and I think they’re really going to like the last part of the show.”

“They’re going to like drop all their food, and they’re going to be screaming, and drop their babies,” Willis joked. “They’re going to get on their feet like, ‘Let’s go, Byrnes!’”

Bone said the music for “Midnight in the Garden,” arranged by Jay Bocook, Furman University director of athletic bands, is his favorite of all the shows the band has done while under his direction and felt that the performance would impress at competitions.

“I think we’ve got all the components needed,” Bone said. “We feature every group: we feature our color guard; we feature our percussion; we feature our brass; we feature our woodwinds. So, you kind of get a sample of each group. Marching and visual is really one of our strong suits. We show that off. We’re demonstrating that we can play soft and pretty, and we can play loud and big also.”

The band’s first big competition (other than the one they’ll be hosting on Sept. 29) will be the Bands of America Regional on Oct. 13 at Gaffney High School. This year, Bone noted, is the first year the competition will be held in South Carolina.

However, for Bone and the band, their biggest competition will always be against themselves.

“We focus on us, and our aim is to be the best that we can be, and where the chips fall, they fall,” Bone said. “There’s no defense in band.”