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"...The filmmakers took great care to capture the full range of emotions that makes up a band season: the staff's stress of creating a competitive show, the students' joy of knowing they gave a great performance, everyone's anticipation of waiting for the announcement of scores. Yes, the film has components you might expect in a band movie, such as performance clips and examples of stamina required when the directors ask the students to rehearse it one more time.  But the film goes deeper and is also filled with the unexpected. Most striking is the fact that the cameras had complete behind-the-scenes access. You go into the staff room during planning sessions and hear candid conversations among the directors both before and after competitions. The viewer gets an inside view of the process required to create a world-class marching band program. That candid access is part of what makes the film special, according to band director Scott Tomlinson. "They were at all of our private staff meetings, competitions and some of our homes. After a while, we forgot they were even filming," Tomlinson explains. "I think the finished film illustrates the difficult decisions that we have to make as a staff and that those moments can't be taught in music education classes." After viewing the DVD, you'll want to dig into the extra features including deleted scenes and a commentary featuring extra insight from the people making and featured in the film. It's a band fan's dream to know that filmmakers invested so much energy to deliver a professional "reality" program centered on the world of marching band. The end product is a timeless look at life lessons learned in marching band: you can't control another band's performance, but you can control your own. And ... competition drives us to new levels of excellence... --MARCHING.COM (FULL REVIEW HERE)


"...We are introduced to the Broken Arrow High School Marching Band at the Bands of America Grand National Championships--the airlock door opens to reveal them right before they enter the field. The sense of pure wonderment in this scene is amazing. Who are these kids? What got them here? "The Pride of Broken Arrow" is an intriguing film that looks at the lives of the teachers, students, and parents involved with one of this nation's finest high school bands. In what seems like such a simple staff meeting, we learn that the directors and instructors are faced with a dilemma: to come up with one of the most exciting, challenging, and inventive shows to ever be performed. But is everyone on board? The film does not give us easy answer. From the local paper that thinks the band never has any "fun", to a kid who has a passion for playing the trumpet yet hates to march, being a part of "The Pride" seems to have more to do with pride than we think. This especially holds true when the kids learn that a fellow student has died, yet have to remain focused for a show. With unflinching honesty, this film takes you on a journey of ups and downs and all around. (How fitting is it that the theme of their field show is, The Ride of Your Life ?) It's heartfelt, it's unique, and it will challenge your notions of what high school marching band is all about. I highly, highly recommend this film to anyone who has ties to pageantry, for this film will truly inspire... --Alan Irons  WORLDOFPAGEANTRY.COM


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