As if the Marching Southerners were not big enough, they will have multiple band students joining them on the field for our first home game against Tennessee State.
Each section of the band welcomes these students to join them for the day. Saturday, September 19 is Jacksonville State University’s Band Day.
These band students come from other high schools, but on occasion, we have younger kids that are allowed to join us.
This year, we have approximately 1700 students signed up to participate. With that in mind, they come from probably about one hundred different high schools.
That is an incredible turnout, and it will prove to be a helpful recruiting tool for our organization.
As a Marching Southerner, I think that this is an incredible opportunity for the participating band students, but also for the Southerners.
The band kids are given the opportunity to play, spin, or dance on the field with the current members of the Southerners, so it shows them what it would be like if they were able to become a member. They also get to experience the fun and excitement of a college football game. I think it also means a lot to them that the JSU fans have always been really encouraging and welcoming to them when they join us on the field.
We arrive to the stadium a little early and practice with them. We teach dance and flag routines as well as play through the music.
One song we usually do with them is the well-known ESPN stand tune. We also spend this time to get to know the students a little bit. Once we get them feeling comfortable with what they have to do, we sometimes give them a sneak peek into our show.
For the Marching Southerners, it is an excellent way to recruit more talented students into our music program in the upcoming years.
It is also a good way for us to represent Jacksonville State University in a positive way.