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Friday night is a big night for New Albany. The Bulldogs will face another tough division opponent in Itawamba and look to improve to 8-0 on the season, and while I’m excited for the match-up, the pre-game festivities also have me pumped.
The “Pride of New Albany” marching band will hold their annual Band Night before the game, and being the huge band geek I am, I’m totally excited about this.
I marched seven years, six on color guard and one year as drum major, and there are very few memories from high school and junior college that are not related to band.
I had the opportunity to work under one of the best directors in the state, Thad Mullins, while at Columbus High, and, not to brag but, we were pretty awesome. All-Superiors every year at contest and consistently named among the elite bands in Mississippi, it was this reputation I was used to working with and continued to be apart of when I started college at ICC.
I only marched for one year after transferring to Ole Miss, but I’m happy that my final marching show included the one song I had always wanted to perform (and one of the best marching pieces, in my opinion), “Malagueña.”
From what I’ve seen of the “Pride of New Albany” the past three years, it’s clear that they have a rich tradition and are one of the best bands in the area.
So far, the Pride has participated in three marching contests, bringing home superior ratings in each competition, as well as placing third overall last weekend in Jonesboro, Arkansas (it should also be noted that they competed and placed higher than Tupelo, one of the best bands in 6A).
Not as much attention goes to these kids, who work countless hours, in some of the hottest weather, on not only their show, but material for the games as well.
Not to be outdone, county schools are also getting involved in the fun, as they’re in the second year of their respective programs. I’ve always been a strong advocate for music in the schools, and am anxious to watch these programs develop in the future.
Now I know band is not considered a sport, so it may be irrelevant that I write about them, but they are a great accompaniment to sports, and the programs in Union County are well worth mentioning.
So be sure to show up extra early to Kitchens’ Field on Friday and show some love for the “Pride of New Albany.”