Local Calhoun County bands showcased their halftime shows with great pride on Burgess Snow Field, Wednesday, Sept. 10. One by one, each band took the field to put on what they have all been working on these past couple months.
Donoho High School opened up the exhibition with songs from the musical “Chicago”.
The size of a band can be deceiving, even the smallest can blow you away. Ohatchee High School took the field with a heartfelt performance of their show, “You Will Be Found,” which showcased a message about bullying and finding your place.
Not having to travel too far, Jacksonville High School also took the field bringing with them more reasons to be proud of this small town. While there were not any scores or trophies handed out, these bands certainly have a lot to be proud of.
Everyone was in for a treat at the end of the exhibition, the Jacksonville State Marching Southerners performed part of their show “Earth, Wind, and Fire,” which is sure to continue turning heads over the rest of this marching season. High schoolers sat in awe of the size and pure talent the Southerners brought to the field. Many of them have probably already pictured themselves in that iconic red, white and black uniform.
It is clear that band is more than just an after-school activity for these high schoolers. They all have passion and a love for marching that is clearly displayed on the field.
Photo courtesy of Brookylnn Wilkes/The Chanticleer
A local rock band is set to release new music on Friday, August 30.
The Sunsets, a band that can only be described as an alternative, new wave, post punk pop, rock group, will release “Space Love” on all major streaming platforms and the band members are excited for the public to hear what they have been working on.
The group, made up of two brothers and some friends, released their first full album, Heartbeat Massacre in July of 2018 and released their first EP, Fatal Attraction, in 2016, just one year after the band began.
The two brothers are lead vocalist Torsten Dryden and drummer Breihan Dryden and the friends are bass guitarist Jack Vermuth and guitarist Trent Johnson, as well as saxophonist Quincy Chapman.
“This is the strongest incarnation the band has ever had,” said Torsten Dryden. “We’re taking a more collaborative approach.”
Every member of the band has given some of themselves to the music in some way or another.
“This is the first [bass guitar] part that I wrote with The Sunsets,” said Vermuth.
Johnson said the group makes every song feel like “you’re a part of it” and that each member has “split duties”
In fact, anyone who has seen a live performance by this band will know that there is sometimes a shuffling around on stage and trading of instruments. People who have been to any show recently would also know that “Space Love” has been a work in progress for some time now.
The funky sci-fi jam titled “Space Love,” which is all about exploring the unknowns of a new relationship, has seen several musical changes.
“We originally wanted ‘Space Love’ on Heartbeat Massacre but we just weren’t happy with it yet,” said Torsten Dryden.
To pay for studio time and mastered songs, the band has been playing at local venues and selling merchandise. They also play for charity events, like the recent “Bands for Bri” benefit concert, which helped pay medical bills for a lady who was accidentally shot and paralyzed.
The group has a “busy fall” according to Torsten Dryden. Apart from playing at local gigs, there are some exciting things in the works, like music videos, new songs and a new EP coming later this year, possibly in November.
As far as videos for “Space Love” goes, there will be a lyric video dropping with the song release this Friday. Jason Lugo created the lyric video and Dylan Baugh created the artwork for the release.
The song, and a few others that are under lock and key for now, were recorded in Nashville with WireBird Productions. Brett Ryan Stewart mixed and mastered the recordings.
“Brett is good at getting things right, right out of the gate,” said Breihan Dryden.
For more information on The Sunsets, check them out on social media by searching @thesunsetsrock on all major platforms. If you can’t wait for the newest song, you can always stream the Heartbeat Massacre album on Spotify, Apple Music and more.
Kara Mullinax, the head drum major of the Marching Southerners, will be humming a new tune in the months to come: “Here Comes the Bride.”
Last Friday night, after the Southerners gave a special performance of their 2014 show for a crowd of alumni in Burgess-Snow Stadium, her boyfriend, Nic Burgess, stepped out of the snare line, got down on one knee and proposed.
“Nic contacted me about a month ago and told me that he was going to propose to Kara,” said Dr. Ken Bodiford, the Director of Bands at JSU, “I told the crowd, ‘Watch the center of the snare line closely. They are going to do something that has never been done by a Southerners’ drumline’.” And indeed they did. Bodiford says the Southerners see 3-4 proposals a year, but even after 21 years and almost 80 engagements, this one was unique.
With the help of the drumline, Burgess spelled out, “Kara, marry me” during a post-performance cadence with letters on the snare and bass drums. He then appeared on the field with a ring.
“I have never been more shocked in my life,” said Mullinax. “I couldn’t wait to run out there to him. I was still in disbelief at what was happening. It was the most incredible moment. It was so heartfelt, and it fit our relationship perfectly. The drumline is his family and mine, and the moment wouldn’t have been the same without them.”
Burgess and Mullinax’s relationship began three years ago exactly where one would expect: in band. Burgess came to Jacksonville in 2006 and spent eight years on the Southerners drumline, two of those years as a section leader.
When Mullinax joined in 2010, the two were merely acquaintances, but Burgess’s persistence paid off.
“He kept trying to get me to go out on a date with him, but I wasn’t so sure how I felt about that,” said Mullinax. “I finally decided to give him a chance, and the rest is history. We started dating and haven’t looked back.”
Burgess remained with the band as a graduate assistant following his graduation as he pursued a Master’s degree in Emergency Management.
He has since graduated from Georgia Fire Academy and is pursuing a career in fire and emergency services.
Mullinax is in her second semester of nursing school here at JSU and is set to graduate in a year and a half.
After graduation, the couple would like to stay near one of their families, either in the Jacksonville or Newnan, Georgia area. As of now, they do not have any set wedding plans other than that the ceremony will not be until after Mullinax graduates.
“Nic and Kara area both wonderful people,” said Bodiford. “I wish them a very happy life together.”