Texas tune up: HHS hosts Texas A&M Band rehearsal
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
HELENA–The Helena High School Marching Band can be seen marching inside of Husky Stadium on the campus of Helena High School every Friday night in the fall, but on Oct. 22, HHS welcomed some special guests.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, The University of Alabama football team defeated the Texas A&M Aggies 33-14 in a crucial top 10 SEC showdown at Bryant Denny Stadium, but prior to the showdown, the Texas A&M “Fightin’ Texas Aggie” Marching Band brought some of the Aggie tradition to Helena High School to prepare for the game by holding a free band rehearsal that was open to the public.
Helena Mayor Mark Hall said an Alabama state trooper who helped work security and escort the band contacted the city wondering if there was a place for the band to rehearse prior to the game in Tuscaloosa.
“State Trooper O’Neal, who lives in the area, contacted us seeing if they could use the stadium to practice and of course we said yes,” said Hall. “It was a great rehearsal and they put on a great show. They went through their halftime routine about three times and it was just an honor having a major college band rehearse in Helena. It was awesome.”
The Texas A&M Band encouraged the public to attend the rehearsal, especially students, regardless of whether or not they are in a high school band and there was no cost to attend the rehearsal.
“The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band is nationally known for its precision military marching formations on the football gridiron and is the largest military marching band in the nation,” according to Texas A&M department of music activities. The band consists of more than 400 Corps of Cadets.
Another popular part of the rehearsal was the appearance of Reveille.
Reveille, known as the First Lady of Aggieland, is Texas A&M’s official mascot and is a full-blood Rough Collie. Several people who attended the rehearsal, including Hall got their picture with Texas A&M’s beloved mascot.
The Aggie Band is directed by Dr. Timothy Rhea, Lt. Col. Jay Brewer and Lt. Russell Tipton.