Thomas Ashworth, Sports Editor
After a year and a half of waiting, the Marching Southerners are more than ready to take the field again with their halftime show “Fate of the Gods.”
After two weeks of band camp, the Southerners are moving full steam ahead and continue to perfect their show for their first full performance, which will be Wednesday, Sept. 1 in Montgomery, Ala. as the Gamecocks take on the UAB Blazers.
The Marching Southerners show, “Fate of the Gods,” revolves around Greek mythology, with selections from “The Battle” by Hans Zimmer, “Venus” by Robbie van Leeuwen, “Watermark” by Enya and “Clocktower Parade” by Thomas Bergersen.
“I, honestly, along with the other directors, feel like this was one of the most successful band camps we’ve had in years,” said Dr. Ken Bodiford, Director of Bands at JSU. “The students were so excited to be back, everyone seemed so excited about the show and it was just a renewed spirit in the band to get things back to normal as possible. The quickness that the band learned was just amazing.”
After their two weeks of band camp, the Marching Southerners hosted a preview show for the community at Burgess-Snow Field, showcasing stand tunes, their traditional tunes as well as a portion of their halftime show.
“I think that everybody was so hungry to hear and see the Southerners again. We had a much larger turnout than we thought we were going to have,” said Bodiford. “I was estimating maybe five hundred to at most fifteen hundred, but with our calculations, it seems the crowd was between five and eight thousand for that first performance, so we were very excited about that.”
The Marching Southerners were unable to take the field in 2020, which disappointed not only directors and members of the Marching Southerners, but the community as well.
“Well, it has definitely scared us all. I think after getting a season taken away from us, we’re very aware that it could happen again. I think most people are trying to be as safe as they possibly can. We’re encouraging students to get the vaccine because we know that’s one way we can fight the virus,” said Bodiford.
Despite all the setbacks of last season, the Marching Southerners are more than ready to get back onto the field and perform for an audience yet again.
“As long as I’ve been band director here at Jacksonville State, we have the very best fans, supporters, alumni and parents of any organization in the country. I just want them to know that all the hours that the students put in to try and perfect their show. They’re doing it for them,” said Bodiford. “The students on the field, their payoff is to make the crowd go crazy with excitement whenever they see them perform. If we move them and they clap and yell or stand up and applaud for us, I think the band feels like they’ve done their job.”