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SIA Organisation Announce S71 Program
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The Re:Sound Collective are proud to present their Season 71 production:

Les Rescapés de Courrières - A Journey From the Pitch Black of Despair to the Light of Hope and Solidarity

The title is French for "The Survivors of Courrieres". The 1906 Courrières mine disaster is Europe's worst mining accident that killed over 1,000 workers. An underground fire sparked a massive explosion that virtually destroyed a vast maze of mines. A colossal fire swept through the many miles of coal tunnels, horribly incinerating miners who were trying to reach the elevator shafts to get to the surface. The fire sucked up what little air was in the mine, replacing it with toxic gases that suffocated more people than the fire burned.

However, some of the surviving miners simply refused to give up. Trapped in the darkness, they ate food from lunch pails that were left behind by dead or fled comrades, then slaughtered a horse that was down in the tunnels with them. Twenty days after the disaster, on March 30, a group of these miners finally managed to be heard by someone else and rescued. Thirteen emerged alive. Five days later one final survivor was found. By then hope had faded for anyone else. These survivors were dubbed, Les Rescapés (The Survivors).

This show aims to reimagine the events of the fateful day, from the mining activities to the horrific tragedy, and finally ending with the great escape of the Les Rescapés and the tribute to the mine workers who didn’t survive. Mining related props such as pickaxes and minecarts will be utilized in the show. Corps members will don uniforms similar to what miners would usually wear, along with a safety helmet. Thierry Deleruyelle’s work that is written especially for this catastrophe, Fraternity, will be the musical focal point of this show.

The show consists of 7 parts:
1) Black Land
The representation of the miner who wakes in the cold and dark of an early morning in March, preparing for the day that lays ahead. Corps members rise from the ground to simulate waking up for the day and changing clothes from civilian/casual wear to miner uniforms

2) The Towering Colliery
It is the mining ground. The prop pit head, with its frame and cart rails, along with some minecarts, imposes its presence. There is a pervasive atmosphere of heaviness and ice. It is just before 6 am – miners start to arrive. They hang their token on the charging bank and take their lamp before assembling in front of the prop lift shaft cage.

3) From light to dark
Miners are pressed against each other in the cage that will take them to a depth of from 320 to 340 metres. They are engulfed in this black hole, the pit swallowing them like a gaping mouth.

4) Extracting the coal
Deep in the mine, each miner takes up his task and his post. The work begins. The diggers attack the seam to extract chunks of coal and put them into carts pushed along by workers. The horses (no real ones are used in the show) pull the carts, attached one to the other, before the carts are taken to the surface in the lift cage. This scene is reimagined through the use of intricate drill maneuvers and moving around of props.

5) Firedamp
6:34 am, a thud, a terrible explosion devastates 110 km of galleries in seconds. It is an explosion of a pocket of gas then a dust blast that is responsible for the disaster. 1664 miners find themselves trapped. A loud explosion is simulated through the amplifiers and the pit percussion, whilst the field is lit with flames and ruins

6) Bring out the dead miners
The situation is alarming. The pit shafts are blocked, cages are jammed by ground movements and escape to the surface by the miners is near impossible. Corps members scream and the whole field is in chaos. When rescuers (acted out by guard members) reach some of the galleries they are confronted by an appalling spectacle of charred miners and rampant fires.

7) Fraternity prayer
The crowd gathers in front of the pits. All are looking for a parent or close relative. Many miners will never be identified because of severe burns. They will hastily buried in a common grave three days after the disaster which has cost 1,099 lives. A small ensemble begins this segment whilst the rest of the corps lay flowers and light candles at the scene. The rest of the corps joins in for a bittersweet finale after the survivors emerge out of the scene.

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Excelsior Winds will be presenting their Season 71 production: Here and Now

Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized, and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what's past. We need to live more in the moment. Living in the moment is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. When you live in the moment, you realize that you are not your thoughts; you become an observer of your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them. This involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away. Instead of letting your life go by without living it, you awaken to experience.

This show intends to help the audience to experience living in the present through many paths. However, at the core of each path is a paradox, which is that you can't pursue it for its benefits. That's because the expectation of reward launches a future-oriented mindset, which subverts the entire process. Instead, you just have to trust that the rewards will come.


Music used:
Call of the Mountain (from Gates of Gold) by Joseph Curiale
The Promise (from Millennium Celebration) by Gavin Greenaway
Finale from Sinfonia Domestica, Op. 53: IV. (Sehr Lebhaft) by Richard Strauss

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Antiphony and conNexus presents: Synergy

Synergy is defined as the combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately. Although Antiphony and conNexus are guard and percussion groups respectively, they will both be presenting their show in a way that it can be performed separately, and also joint together as a mega show! While this concept isn't entirely new to FMA, we hope that we are able to present our own version of this approach to programming. Look out for our modular sets and mobile pit percussion crew as we are set to rock the arena!

Music used:
Daft Punk Song Mashup by Pentatonix

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All of these groups will debut their Season 71 productions, along with their respective feeder groups (who will all be presenting Resphigi's Roman Trilogies!), at the CLASS Western Showdown on Sunday, July 22 for Re:Sound Collective, and at the SkyTeam Alliance Season Openers on the same day for the other groups. We hope you enjoyed reading our lengthy press release, and wish everyone the best of luck this season!
Re:Sound Collective - 1x D1 Bronze, 1x D2&D3 Champ
Excelsior Winds - 2x D1 Silver&Bronze, 2x D2 Champ
Antiphony - 1x D1 Silver, 1x D2 Champ
conNexus - 1x D1 Silver&Bronze, 1x D2 Champ