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Marching bands play a big role in football Friday nights


Members of the Phil Campbell High School Bobcat Marching Band practice Thursday afternoon one final time before Friday night’s first halftime performance. | Nathan Strickland/FCT


The sound of music filled many football stadiums Friday night as local bands took the field for their halftime showcases.

Russellville, Phil Campbell and Red Bay bands marched to the beat Friday night with the ambition to entertain fans, giving everyone a chance to catch their breath before entering another half of football frenzy.

The Russellville High School Marching Hundred brought back some familiar rock hits during their presentation of “The Legends Tour” featuring “Legends of Rock” ranging from the 70s and 80s during their halftime performance.

Director of Bands Gary McNutt said the show opened up with fast-pace, energetic pieces to entertain crowds and will continue that trend all season long.

McNutt said the band performed songs by ACDC and The Who, which featured the majorettes and Tigerettes dance-line.

McNutt said the show then ended with popular rock ballads featuring a piano interlude and closed out with Journey’s “Open Arms” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

“This is going to be a fun show to perform all year,” McNutt said. “Our goal this year is to entertain the crowd at halftime with some songs that they know and have enjoyed for years. Our kids have been working hard during the summer and battling the heat to get ready for the season. I am looking forward to the rest of the season and hope this year will take us to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Super Six.”

The Marching Hundred is under the direction of Drum Major Katelin Swindle this year.

McNutt said The Marching Hundred would host their annual “Kudzu Klassic” competition on Sept. 25 bringing in several bands from around the area and featuring the University of North Alabama Pride of Dixie Marching Band in an exhibition performance.

The Marching Hundred will also perform an exhibition at the event.

McNutt said, looking ahead, The Marching Hundred will compete in the Tennessee Valley Invitational held on Oct. 16 in Muscle Shoals and has also been selected to perform in Atlanta at the 2010 Chick Filet Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

The Phil Campbell High School Marching Bobcat Band celebrated the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II Friday night during their halftime show.

Director of Bands Bobby Patrick said this year’s theme features songs to honor our veterans beginning with “America the Beautiful.”

Patrick, who is currently in his 10th year as director at PCHS, said the show was performed in two parts with a celebration and remembrance section showcasing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Amazing Grace,” “It is Well With My Soul,” “Ave Maria,” “Taps” and “The Baby Boomers.”

“Since this is the 65th anniversary of the end of WWII, I saw this as a great opportunity for our students to salute a generation of soldiers that we are quickly losing,” Patrick said. “This is allowing us to do some cross discipline teaching, which is fun and educational for our students.”

The PCHS Bobcat Band is under the direction of Drum Major Katherine Herron.

The PCHS Bobcat Band is planning to attend three marching competitions this fall and will also host their 6th annual Bobcat Marching Band Classic on October 23rd at Parrish Stadium in Phil Campbell.

“The 2010 PCHS Marching Band is one of the smaller groups we’ve had at P.C. in the last decade, but this group has the best attitude,” Patrick said. “A positive attitude is priceless. The students and I are having fun and are learning daily. Sounds like a positive experience, no matter how you slice it.”

The Red Bay Tiger Marching Band took the field during halftime festivities Friday night under Director of Bands Erin Gilbert as she enters her second year.

This year’s halftime performance featured the dance line members as well as a fully stacked percussion section.

“We worked this summer teaching some basic dance line techniques and percussion pieces that will surely entertain our crowds during the rest of the season,” Gilbert said.

Even though fans crowd into stadiums to see the games, come halftime they should expect some great entertainment.