i wrote this article for the school news paper. i'm an editor, and its an opinion piece due to something that occurred on friday. The untimely death of Peter Gunn sets upon the Warren County High School Pioneer Band. Steven Masons role as Peter Gunn in the half time show is given the ax due to scathing opinion article by James Clark James Clark, a household name in Warren County, is a writer and editor of the Southern Standard. On Friday October 3, 2008, James Clark published an article titled, Band performance shouldnt have gun, which ran in the Opinions section of Fridays paper. Clarks articles reach has resonated far past the news stands of Warren County. Friday morning, band director Duane Farnham was contacted about the plot of the performance that happens between the second and third quarters of every football game. Farnham agreed to remove the sequence of the performance that Promoted school related gun violence, quoted senior Steven Mason. Only a few short hours later, Farnham had decided how he was going to make the show school friendly. Before the band preformed at the homecoming parade, all of the musicians were sitting on the grassy slope next to the Blue Buildings parking lot, and that was when Farnham announced his decision, first privately to Mason (the main character of the performance) and then to everyone. Masons character had been cut, as well as the fourth song (Michael Jacksons Smooth Criminal) the portion of the show that portrayed the accidental death of Masons love interest (Shellie Grissom). Several hours later, half time rolled around and the Warren County High School Pioneer band took the field, but only with the first three songs of their butchered performance. Instead of having a fluid plotline to follow, the movie (as described by Senior Drum Major Landry Duvall), which opened with the 20th Century Fox Fan Fare, was without main characters, a plot, and an ending. At the end of Jon Bon Jovis, Wanted Dead or Alive, the band dropped their instruments, and ended the show. Confusion quickly spread throughout those who werent expecting the sudden stop, or the lack of a plot, and few were pleased, let alone mildly entertained by that performance. The avid fans of both the Pioneer football team and the Pioneer band have grown accustomed to the recently finished half time show, and their expectations were severely unmet with Fridays take to the field. The original performance was a production adapted from Peter Gunn which was a private eye television series that ran from 1958 to 1961. It told the story of Peter Gunn (portrayed by Mason) and his love interest (Grissom). After the show starts off with 20th Century Fox fan fare, it introduces the Mason with the Peter Gunn Theme. Gunn slinks about the crowd of the color guard and the band, dressed in a long trench coat, a suit and tie, and a black fedora. In the third song, Wanted Dead Or Alive, the color guard (portraying criminals) break out of jail, and Gunn is hot on their trail. Gunn meets with one of the many criminals which he comes to know as The Lady In Red (Grissom). The Lady falls in love with Gunn and begins to spill the secrets of her and her companions. She is torn between friendship and love when she decides to tell him where her friends are hiding out, but runs off from him. Her color guard gone criminal group turns on her, just as Gunn approaches their hideout. When they start to scatter and flee, Gunn pulls out his weapon in an attempt to control the crowd, he fires, but his shot hits an unintended target, The Lady. Heartbroken, Gunn cries out in anguish and runs across the field to the side of his fallen love. Gunn breaks down into tears as The Lady lies dead on the field. Gunn, resolved to imprison the people that caused him to kill his love, stands up, and captures the criminals, but his heartbreak is clear on his face. But before the band even took the field on October 3rd, something much more controversial than a white, plastic, handgun with an orange tip happened. The Warren County High School JROTC department was given the opportunity to deliver the game ball. They used the intercoms, and the visual aid of students holding demilitarized rifles that were aimed in all directions. The students wore modern ACU uniforms and rode in a real military vehicle. The conversations going across the intercom was all together too reminiscent of the real military occupation that was being portrayed. There is a difference between artistic expression and gratuitous violence. One act of accidental gun violence that was portrayed without the use of blood is enough to have a 7 minute show butchered, but simulating military occupation is still okay? The band, particularly Mason, is not discouraged by the publics reaction towards their production. Though the disappointment hangs heavy in the air of the band room, it is about the music. On Friday, several members of County and Middle School bands came out to play with the current high school musicians, as well as several alumni musicians that came back for one more game. Even though the halftime show didnt have a story and abruptly ended, the bands energy and love of what they were doing was enough to electrify the air around that far corner of Nunley Stadium. As all artists know, Great spirits have always met violent opposition from mediocre minds. To view the full show, uncensored, and decide how you feel about it for yourself, follow this link: http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=65mpgz&s=4 ----------------------------- i would have just linked to the school website, but its not been uploaded yet. what are your thoughts on censorship? what are your thoughts on the situation?