The Bob Jones Marching Band Halftime Preview Showcase

Approved photography taken by Dave Meyer, the band's photographer, for permission to share on social media

Yunona Shkolnikov, Writer

Nothing is as anticipated as football season in Alabama, but long before anyone has a single thought about upcoming games, the marching band has already prepared the music and marching sets for the halftime show. Last July, the band, color guard, and dance team finished up band camp, a two and a half week-long rehearsal during which they perfected every set, music piece, and formation the directors threw at them.

Leigh Thomas, one of the band directors at Bob Jones High School, stated, “This year’s band camp was extremely productive. We had to battle the weather and were still able to accomplish our goals for camp. Everyone seemed to be eager to start the year off on a good note.” Every year positivity among band members seems to increase; Thomas adds, “The overall attitude of the entire band is great! The group seems to be pushing each other to constantly do better and raise the bar. All of the upperclassmen seem to be looking out for our freshmen and letting them know our expectations. Our leadership team is doing a great job of keeping things organized and communicating with their sections. I suppose the biggest difference is the presence of upperclassmen during rehearsals, whether they are section leaders or not. This has caused us to get a ton accomplished and not leave many people behind.”

The theme for this season’s show is dancing, with the halftime show consisting of songs such as “Dancing In The Street” by Mick Jagger, “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth, Wind, & Fire, and a third song that Thomas would like to keep a surprise for the first football game.

The band also prepares a show to be used in competition with the other southeastern area schools. The competition band consists of brass, woodwinds, drumline, and color guard. Because many members of the band and color guard participate in two separate shows, they must practice four times a week and have additional Saturday rehearsals as well as practices every day during school. These students must rehearse extensive routines in the heat of excruciating Alabama summers, just to make sure each performance is as perfect as possible.

The competition show will be based on the moon landing since this year will mark its 50th anniversary. Thomas shared her expectations for the season, “I hope we can continue to approach this season in a positive light. That was a huge personal goal of mine and one that I believe has made this experience a good one for our members. I want everyone to continue to feel important and that they add value to the ensemble. I have a special feeling about this competition show and its ability to connect with our community. I’m excited to get it all on the field and start fine-tuning it and clarifying the storyline. I hope the students can connect to it and add their personalities to the show. I think it’s going to be a great year!”

The football committee has invited the Bob Jones High School marching band and the Discovery Middle School band to perform their halftime shows as a preview showcase. This event will be on August 16 at 5:30 p.m. on the Bob Jones turf field. Admission is $5. Be sure to come out and support the band!