Seven area high-school bands will join Missouri Southern’s marching band when they take the field during the halftime show as the Lions play host to Emporia State at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.
The piece the 600-member band will be performing – “300 Trumpets Hit the Sky” – was composed by musician Dontae Winslow, who will join in on trumpet for the song, which will be released on iTunes later that evening.
It’s a quick turnaround for the single’s release, but it will cap a busy 48 hours of work to make it possible, said Brian Fronzaglia, head of Missouri Southern’s Music Department and director of athletic bands.
“We’ll be going into the recording studio at Victory (Ministry & Sports Complex) tonight to record individual tracks, and then recording our full band tomorrow,” he said. “The mass band performance will be recorded on Thursday. After halftime is over, we’ll send the recording off for some final touches and the single will drop that night on iTunes.”
Video of the recording sessions and band rehearsals will be utilized for a short documentary on the making of the single, he said.
High-school bands featured in the mass band performance will include Joplin, Webb City, East Newton, Purdy, Lamar, Diamond and Neosho.
An accomplished jazz musicians, Winslow has worked with artists such as Justin Timberlake (including as part of the band for the singer’s “20/20 Experience World Tour”), Jill Scott, Christina Aguilera, Lauren Hill, Common and Snoop Dogg. As a producer/songwriter/arranger, he has worked with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Keyshia Cole, among others.
He recently performed on and arranged the horn parts for Dr. Dre’s new album, “Compton,” which serves as the soundtrack to the hit film “Straight Outta Compton.”
Winslow performed with the Missouri Southern band last year at the invitation of Fronzaglia, who met the musician at a Timberlake concert in Kansas City in the summer of 2014.
“We’re fortunate that when Dontae made his first trip here, there were flight delays and he ended up coming into the Tulsa airport instead of Joplin,” he said. “We had a lot of time to talk and discuss our philosophy on education, community and family. We both recognized that we have incredibly powerful tools that each could use to do something incredible together.
“The piece (‘300 Trumpets’) is a rap. A lot of times, music can focus on negatives. This is an opportunity for us to provide an uplifting message and do it in a positive manner and on a large scale.”