Local students display talent during Shelby County Showcase of the Bands

Published 2:51 pm Monday, September 18, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

HELENA – Seven bands from the across the county displayed their skill and pride during this year’s Shelby County Showcase of the Bands.

Helena High School hosted this year’s showcase on Tuesday, Sept. 12 as local band students highlighted their competition and halftime shows for the season.

“I thought it went really well,” said Jeff Burnside, director of bands at Helena High School. “One of the nice things about the showcase we do here in Shelby County is all of the band performances are always excellent. The kids in the county and the directors put a lot of time and a lot of pride into the shows and stuff they’re doing and the shows are always really entertaining.”

During the showcase, local band students not only get to display their talent to their parents and friends but also get to enjoy watching each other’s shows.

“One of our goals is to make sure each band can watch every other band perform which is always a lot of fun because, for several of the schools, this is the only time a lot of us ever get to see them perform,” Burnside said.

The goal of the showcase each year is to provide students with an opportunity to display their show before an audience and judges in a non-competitive environment, so they are prepared for upcoming competitions.

“We do bring a panel of judges that critique them,” Burnside said. “They don’t give them scores, it’s not a competition but they give them comments and suggestions on what they see, things that they see that are good, things that they see that need improvement, sometimes suggestions of ways to make some changes to make the shows a little cleaner (and) a little more entertaining.”

Seven bands from Shelby County Schools participated in the 2023 Showcase of the bands including:

  • Montevallo High School’s Marching Troubadours
  • Shelby County High School’s Pride of Shelby County Marching Band
  • Vincent Middle/High School’s Yellowjacket Marching Band
  • Calera High School’s Soaring Sound of Dixie,
  • Chelsea High School’s Marching Hornet Pride Band,
  • Helena High School’s Husky Marching Band
  • Oak Mountain High School’s Spirit of Cahaba Marching Band.

Helena High School’s Husky Marching Band performed its halftime show for this year entitled, “Out of this World: A Journey into Space” featuring music from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “To the Spaceport” from “Treasure Planet,” “October Sky,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and “Star Wars.”

Calera High School’s Soaring Sound of Dixie Marching Band performed its show for this year, entitled “Set Sail,” with “Hoist the Colors,” “Sail,” “The Ship,” “Into the West,” “The Wellerman,” “Spanish Ladies,” “Blow the man Down” and “Yo Ho Me Hearties.”

Montevallo High School presented its show, “Guardians of Montevallo” featuring “Crazy on You,” “Spirit in the Sky,” “I Gotta feeling” and “Mr. Blue Sky.”

The Chelsea Marching Hornet Pride performed its show, “Limitless” featuring the songs “The Final Countdown,” “Fly me to the Moon,” “Unstoppable,” Freebird” and “Defying Gravity.”

Oak Mountain High School’s Spirit of Cahaba Marching Band presented “Treasured: Songs of Fortune and Glory” with songs from “Indiana Jones,” “National Treasure,” “The Mandalorian” and “Uncharted.”

Shelby County High School’s Pride of Shelby County Marching Band performed a show entitled, “I Love The ‘80s” featuring music from “Thriller,” “Master of Puppets,” “Take on Me” and Africa.

Vincent Middle High School’s Yellow Jacket Marching Band displayed this year’s show, entitled “Impressions,” including “Run around,” “All for You” and “Buddy Holly.”

The 2023 Shelby County Showcase of Bands ended with the traditional gathering of all of the bands together on the field to perform “America the Beautiful” in unison.

“A lot of times, people don’t realize how much band students work to prepare, especially marching band, a field show or even a concert,” Burnside said. “The kids really embrace the challenge and they’re real proud of what they get done when they get it learned and they go from  the point of, ‘This is what it would look like on paper’ to ‘Now, this is what it looks like when we actually do the show.’ It’s kind of a neat experience.”