Injecting some heavy metal into their performances proved to be a rockin' choice for the Windham Bomber Marching Band this year.

In fact, the choice was so popular, the band will do a show entirely dedicated to heavy metal music next year, its director said.

Under first-year band director Andrew Stamp, a recent graduate of Youngstown State University, the 41-member strong band made up of students from seventh-grade through 12th grade had a lot of work to do. As a new director, Stamp said there wasn’t much time for electing band officer, so he had his senior class "lead up a lot of stuff."

"With the transition from one director to another, it became the seniors who knew the group, knew the culture, and helped me out greatly to keep things flowing in a good way for the students," he said.

For its Blacklight Show, the band performed Metallica's "Master of Puppets."

"I was impressed with how the kids did it," Stamp said. "It went over so well, next year we're doing an all-heavy metal show."

Before hurricanes struck the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean earlier this year, the band performed a special arrangement of the late Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" in honor of hurricane victims.

Other shows rotated every few weeks included the music of the movie "Shrek" (featuring "Accidentally in Love," "I'm a Believer" and "Funkytown"); a show Stamp called "Dance, Dance, Dance" ("Funkytown," "The Cupid Shuffle," and "Shut Up and Dance"); "On the Airwaves," featuring "popular stuff from the radio," Stamp said, including "Shut Up and Dance," "HandClap" by Fitz & the Tantrums, and "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5; a "Party Anthem" show and a show with songs picked by the senior band members that included "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz and Black Sabbath's "War Pigs."

Some of the shows brought energy to the crowd, Stamp said.

"Every time we played 'The Cupid Shuffle' we had people up and dancing," he said.

The band will lose 10 seniors to graduation at the end of this year, but Stamp said he has a group of sixth-graders just as large planning to play next year, along with a few former band members who have decided to return to the field in 2018.

dobrien@recordpub.com

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