Bearcat band, dance line, color guard grind through heat to prep for season

Published 8:57 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2015


A line of trumpet players in the Bearcat Marching Band practice their formation on the field. — Powell Cobb

It’s 7:30 p.m. on a Monday. The sun is low in the sky, blasting Bainbridge with a bright orange glow.

The temperature is in the upper 90s, but feels like somewhere in the 100s. Gnats are swarming. The Bearcat football team has packed up and moved on for the day at Bainbridge High School.

The Bearcat band, the dance line and the color guard step out onto the practice field for rehearsals.

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After a “rookie camp” on July 21 where incoming freshman learned to march and play their instrument at the same time and a color guard/dance line camp the following week, the Pride of Decatur County have been brought together for practice in every day in preparation for the upcoming season.

“It’s a lot of small things that go into the big concept,” band director Pashcal Ward said. “With 235 students, you try to attend to everything they need, so it’s always interesting.”

Together with Ward, assistant band director James Sewell and a host of assistants, students started at 8 a.m. and worked until 11:30 a.m., then returned at 6 p.m. and practice until 9:30 p.m. daily. To cap off the two-week grind, the band will put on a performance for family and friends at the BHS track field on Thursday, Aug. 7.

“Their work ethic has been superior,” Ward said. “The heat and the gnats, the parents bringing them and dropping them off—it’s been a challenge. Everybody has met the demands thus far and I’m looking forward to a great season.”

This year’s show is a “Flash Back Friday” theme. The band will open its halftime shows with a medley of tunes from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Songs will include “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley, “Fire” by the Ohio Players and “All Night Long’ by Lionel Richie. The concert number, “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift, features the dance line and the color guard. The selection will get your feet tapping and the dancers moving on the field with a nice up-tempo feel, Ward said.

The closer is “Bailamos” by Enrique Inglesias, an exciting number from the 1990s.

Ward invites everyone to come out, enjoy the show and support the Bearcat band during the upcoming football season. He also wishes to thank parents and friends of the band programs at BHS for all their hard work and dedication.

“Your support of the band program this fall will help our students to continue with their current level of success,” Ward said.