Time to cheer on local marching bands

For fans at high school football games on Friday nights across Shelby County, halftime can be an opportunity to grab a snack and a drink, or maybe even just chat with friends.

I encourage you to rethink your game plan. If you’re not paying attention to the outstanding performances given each week by local marching bands, you’re missing out.

The hard work and dedication required from band members was obvious as I had the opportunity to visit a couple of local band camps over the summer—where, like their football playing counterparts, marching band members brave the summer heat to perfect the halftime show for the upcoming season. And that’s not even mentioning the musical capacity required.

These musicians, twirlers and dancers work together to entertain crowds every week, and they deserve our support.

A rare opportunity to see several local bands perform on the same evening will be presented at the annual Showcase of Bands, which will be held Tuesday, Sept. 26, at Heardmont Park in North Shelby County.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with the National Anthem, and the first band will take the field at 6:45 p.m., with another band following every 15 minutes.

The order in which the bands, all of which are from the Shelby County School System, will perform is: Montevallo High School, Vincent Middle/High School, Shelby County High School, Calera High School, Chelsea High School, Helena High School and Oak Mountain High School.

“At the very end we have a mass band performance,” said Travis Bender, associate director of bands at Oak Mountain High School, which is hosting the event. “We get everyone on the field, and it fills up the whole field and we play ‘America the Beautiful,’” Bender said.

Tickets to the event can be purchased at the gate for $7, with proceeds being collected by the Shelby County Band Directors Association for the benefit of all bands in the system.

Parking will cost $5, which will be collected by the host school.

Full concessions will be offered, and attendees will be welcome to the best seats on the home side of the stadium, so there’s no reason not to go enjoy the shows.

Stephen Dawkins is a staff writer for the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 524 or by email at stephen.dawkins@shelbycountyreporter.com.