A wave of nostalgia must have hit Cottondale High School band director Anthony Williams last Saturday when he and The Pride of Cottondale took their place among high school players from 21 schools in the region to march and play with Troy’s Sound of South during the halftime show.
The Band Day event is a tradition there and this is not the first time Williams witnessed and was part of it.
Troy is his alma mater. A saxophone player, in 2010 he’d won a band scholarship to get there and be part of Sound of the South as a student there. He’d been part of Band Day four years, welcoming students from high schools all across the region.
And before that, he’d been a member of the Graceville High School band, a 2010 graduate of that school.
It was nice he said, to look across the stands and see that old Graceville orange and black. Marianna High School was there, too.
He said he was proud of his 16-member band, that they helped represent Jackson County well that day.
The massive, collective band played “Celebration” and “My Home’s In Alabama.”
Back home, his outfit plays sets of classic rock, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” and “Crazy Train,” but his crew was ready to learn the new tunes while still honing their skills on the Cottondale playlist for pep rallies, halftime shows and parades. “They’re doing a fine job,” he said of the players he took charge of at the beginning of this school year, “high school marching bands are staple of school spirit and it was an amazing halftime show.” His players are giving their all this year, not just on Band Day at Troy, not just out in the stands and on the field for Cottondale, but in the band room at rehearsal every time they meet.
Even though they’re busy with their regular season playlist, they’ll also put on a Christmas concert this year, with the date of that performance not yet certain. He has no doubt his band will be ready to give its community plenty of Christmas cheer for the ear.
Williams thanked CHS Principal Zanda Warren for allowing his band to participate in the event at Troy.