By Emma Crawford
TUPELO – The Tupelo High School band will take its talents north this week to the Bands of America Super Regional competition in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The band will travel by bus to compete against 63 other high school bands from across the nation in Lucas-Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts.
The competition begins Friday, and only 13 bands will progress to the final round on Saturday.
Tim Matlock, THS band director, said he hopes the experience of competing at a large-scale competition leaves a lasting impression on band members, win or lose.
“We’ve told the kids from day one when we decided to go to something of this caliber that it’s more for the experience to let them know what it’s like and to see what other schools are doing outside of Mississippi,” Matlock said. “It’s important for them to experience that for themselves.”
One challenge for the band, which Matlock said he has been stressing at practice, will be the 3.5-second sound delay in Lucas-Oil Stadium.
Matlock said the delay will make staying together in their sound more difficult for the students, especially when they are spread out on a large field.
To prepare, Matlock said the band has been working on staying together by looking at what each band member is doing, instead of listening.
He said the band has also practiced at the BancorpSouth Arena and in the rubber gym at THS.
“A lot of times kids, and even adults, try to stay together by what they hear and maybe not what they see,” Matlock said.
Treyce Bannerman, senior drum major, said the band has been preparing since the beginning of the season for the Indianapolis competition.
“Each week the intensity increases to increase morale and motivate the band to compete on one of the largest stages in America,” Bannerman said. “This is the second most prestigious competition in the nation, and we’re treating it as such.”
Caitlin Gardner, senior drum major, said she is excited to continue the successful season she feels the drum majors have had thus far, as well as to represent Mississippi on a larger stage.
“No one in Mississippi has ever done this particular competition, so we really want to set the bar high for Tupelo High School as well as for other bands across the state,” Gardner said.
As the competition quickly approaches, Gardner and Bannerman said the whole band is working to fine-tune the details of its show, “Emotional Pulse.”
Focused on the emotions anger, love, excitement and happiness, the show features classical, modern and pop music styles.