BY ELIJAH SMITH (‘18)
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CAM CROUCH (’19)
The marching band has been invited to perform at halftime of the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. They will also be performing in a separate competition while they are down in Florida.
They first got invited to perform at the Peach Bowl last year. After a variety of videos of their Peach Bowl performance were seen by different game officials, they ended up getting invited to eight separate bowl games. The band director Jerod Smith decided that the Outback Bowl would be the best fit for the band.
“I chose the Outback Bowl because it was the next biggest bowl game in the series of games that we were invited to,” Smith said “It also is in a place we have never been before.”
The band is not performing alone at the Outback halftime show, but rather with a multitude of other high school bands from around the country. The music is sent to the schools for them to practice until it is time for the actual performance.
The halftime show consists of three songs which are all country songs. The first song is a patriotic medley, the second song is called “Forever Country” and the final song is a medley from the musical “9 to 5.”
“It’s a country show,” Smith said. “It has mountain music elements, which is not necessarily my favorite type of country music.”
The band must perfect these songs or they can be sent home by the Outback Bowl, which is putting extra pressure on the band students to really memorize these pieces of music.
The band is also going to be performing their halftime show, “Kings, Queens, and Punks,” at a high school in Tampa. They will be competing against other bands in front of judges to see what band really has the best individual performance. The winner of this competition gets to perform alone in the pregame of the Outback Bowl.
“That’s like the giant prize that we are striving for, it has truly been a season long preparation,” Smith said. “We have been practicing Monday through Thursday from three to four-thirty.”
The band students have had an extremely busy fall, with practices during the week, football games on Friday nights, Festivals on the weekends, and even just recently had a indoor concert.
The jazz band is also going to compete in Tampa, which is unusual due to the fact it usually does not start until after the fall season is over.
“Jazz band has already auditioned, and has been rehearsing from seven to nine at night,” Smith said. “Concert band and symphonic band are also performing at different competitions in Florida.”
On top of everything with the trip, the band also has been practicing for their annual holiday concert.
They have a heavy workload upon them, but that is what makes the band so successful. Everyone within the band is hardworking and flexible, as they also enjoy being around each other everyday.
“It’s like a family,” sophomore Graham Sherman said. “We are always having fun, and we get better everyday. I can’t wait for the Outback Bowl. We are going to kill it.”
If they can perform like they have all football season and continue to work as hard as they do, I have no doubt in my mind that they will win the competitions in Florida.