Band to play in Bands of America showcase

UNA’s marching band will perform at the Georgia Dome Oct. 27 in the Bands of America showcase after a reportedly impressive performance last year.

UNA’s Pride of Dixie marching band will perform in the Georgia Dome for the Bands of America showcase Oct. 27. 

“We were invited last minute somehow last year,” said Christian Clark, a snare drum player and third-year performer in the band. “We left such a great impression that we are going to perform there again — only this time we are performing not once but three times.”

The Bands of America showcase is typically reserved for high school performers. The Pride of Dixie will be performing its 2012 field show, the national anthem and “Battle Hymn Chorale” at the event. In addition, the band will be performing as the premier exhibition band and only collegiate band for the showcase, making the Bands of America competition an ideal place to recruit potential members for the 2013-2014 season. 

“That is what we work for, and there is nothing like the feeling of a well-delivered and well-received show,” said Michael Thaxton, a trumpet player and third-year performer in the band. “Without the performances, there would be no reason to do what we do.”

In preparation for the showcase, the band has added more intensity to its practice schedule. Student performers practice anywhere from 50 to 75 minutes in a mandatory class during the week, spend an additional hour at sectional practice during the afternoon and practice at 8 a.m. Saturday mornings before performing at any games or events.

“We’ve been extremely focused all season in preparation for Bands of America, so I think that this week will be another week of the hard work that we’re used to,” said Alexis Cote, a mellophone player and second-year performer in the Pride of Dixie.

The honor of being the only collegiate band at the event is further intensified by the location of the performance. 

“We cannot over hype ourselves because of (playing at the Georgia Dome),” Thaxton said. “We run the risk of letting the adrenaline get the best of us and losing the control we work for.”

The band is extremely committed to performing their best at every event they participate in, and it shows in their performances, Clark said.

“We do something very few do, and we do it well,” Clark said. “I wouldn’t want to play in any other college drum line.”