HOLMES AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES - As the heat rises, local high school marching bands are preparing to kick off another marching season. Chipley, Holmes County, and Vernon High Schools are all battling the remainder of the summer heat to prepare their respective half time shows for the upcoming season.
Each marching band puts in countless hours of sweat, energy, and pride into perfecting a halftime show to present to their fans. Between the three local bands, students, staff, and volunteers put in hundreds of hours of hard work behind the scenes.
Chipley High School Director of Bands Richard Davenport says his band stands at the ready with a determined state of mind.
“Honor, commitment, and loyalty is what we are pushing as our motto for this camp and for the season," said Davenport.
The Spirit of the Tiger Band started band camp off last week with a percussion camp. “Those three words is the motto 'The Troopers' use to uphold the tradition of their corps," he explained, referencing the band's recent hosting of “The Troopers” world class Drum & Bugle Corps on their field, an event band members from surrounding areas came to watch.
This year, the Spirit of the Tiger Band will present a western themed show called “The Good, The Band, & The Ugly."
“We will be playing western music from movies, and it will reach all ages and audiences," said Davenport, who also stressed the importance of involving his band students in the show plans. “I try to let the kids be involved in the process of the show. It makes it more fun for the students throughout the season, knowing they had a part in the process in the making of the show.”
Davenport added that the Spirit of the Tiger Band is eager to present the 2017 show to fans this season, and they are looking forward to another great season with the support from the public.
The Pride of Vernon Marching Yellow Jackets kicked off band camp back in June with percussion camp. This past week was spent with the full band going through new drills and music.
“You always see the most growth when you go through a little bit of a troubled time,” said Vernon Band Director John Harcus.
Now in his sixth year, Harcus says he sets a "higher goal" for the band each season.
“This year we expect approximately about 45 to 50 students in the marching band, including winds, percussion, and color guard," he said. "The 'Pride of Vernon' set a goal stating, 'We are all whiners at times, but by the end of the day, we are going to turn our whining attitude (because it may be hot, or because you are tired) into a winning attitude.”
This year, the Pride of Vernon will present music inspired by 80’s Rock & Roll, including famous selections like “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “I Love Rock & Roll."
“The students are excited about the show, and we look forward to an even better season this year," said Harcus.
The “Pride of Vernon” continues with camp this week to prepare for the first football game of the season.
Holmes County High School's Blue Pride Band started their first day of camp on Monday with the new members learning marching basics in the morning, and then with the full band in the afternoon.
Blue Pride Band Director Zach Dobos says he hopes to uphold the band's tradition of excellence.
“Our goal for the season is to maintain and uphold our Superior rating as we have in the past," Dobos said.
The Blue Pride will present “The Great American Road Trip” as theme of their 2017 halftime show.
“The theme revolves around songs that contain city names in them, with a subtitle of the song 'I Am the Highway' by Audioslave,” Dobos explained.
“We expect to have about 55 to 60 people in the marching band this year, making it the most I have had since I started here eight years ago. The Blue Pride wants to uphold their tradition of just having fun with band, and they look forward on taking you on a 'Great American Road Trip'."
All three bands state they look forward to another great season and year with all the countless hours from the band directors and students.
Chipley, Vernon, and Holmes County marching bands encourage the public to come out to football games, competitions and countless events in support of these music programs.