UNA marching band strives to show hard work

by Staff Photographer Hillary Taylor

There are some aspects that no football game is complete without — the sound of the crowd chanting, the coaches calling plays and the cheerleaders cheering.

But over all of the excitement, there is a distinct sound that has become the soundtrack to all UNA games. Loudest of all comes a distant melody as the nationally famous Pride of Dixie marching band begins to play familiar tunes, majorettes toss batons and the Lionettes move in colorful dances across the field.

For many POD members, the halftime show seems to be the most enjoyable time of the week. Performing in front of thousands of fans appears to be the payoff to a long week’s journey, and it is a chance for the band to show their talents to the whole university.

The rush of a good performance, of course, comes with a lot of hard work.

The path from the practice field to Braly Stadium begins with a rigorous audition. Only the best can make it on this team. If one is lucky enough to make it in the band, the real work begins with band camp. Band camp consists of several weeks of blood, sweat, tears and practice in the hot sun.

Once school begins, the pressure to perfect the show becomes daunting. It seems like a lot of work, with several days of practice a week and every Saturday night given up to perform, but for many, the rewards are invaluable. The lessons learned outweigh the hardships.

Sophomore Kristie Grigsby said being in the POD helps her be a better student.

“It teaches you a lot about time management,” she said. “It’s hard work, but the experience is worth it.”

Getting the chance to show off their skills isn’t the only perk for POD performers. For all of their hard work and dedication, the band members also receive a scholarship, and serves as a great resume builder.

I know I speak for many when I say that we appreciate the work they do to give us a great performance. After all, what would a football game be without the halftime show?

For more information on how to become a member of the Pride of Dixie, visit their website at https://www.una.edu/universitybands/