Note: This story was last updated at 10 a.m. Sept. 25.
The Oak Ridge High School Wildcat Marching Band is performing with the Pride of the Southland Band this Saturday at the University of Tennessee and UMass football game.
The WildBand will participate in the march to the stadium and the patriotic themed halftime performance, a press release said.
“Kickoff at noon makes an early rehearsal call at UT of 7:15 a.m. tough but absolutely doable,” the press release said. “We were happy to rearrange our fall competition schedule in order to accept the invitation from Dr. Don Ryder, director of bands at UT. With all four band directors in the Oak Ridge Schools system being alumni of the Pride—Spence Milligan and Mike Spirko (also former Pride drum major) at ORHS, Sean Rutherford at Jefferson Middle School, Elizabeth Reams at Robertsville Middle School—it will be a homecoming for them as well as a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the ORHS Band students.”
There is an added connection since there are currently six ORHS alumni marching with the Pride, two of whom have siblings currently in the WildBand. The six are Delaney Thurston, Maggie Nathan, Kaitlin Ledden, Marah Yaun, Hunter Gray, and Matthew Martin.
The ORHS WildBand will be the first band in the march to the stadium on Saturday, with Elizabethton Band and the Pride following, the press release said.
“Special thanks to the Band Boosters for the perfect timing of purchasing a fabulous new banner for the WildBand,” the release said. “In the midst of fine-tuning our ‘Danza del Toro’ halftime show for competitions in October, the students have met the challenge to learn new music and marching drill for the UT performance. ‘God Bless the U.S.A.’ and ‘God Bless America’ will be the tunes performed by the students.
“We invite Oak Ridge to come out for the parade, if not the game as well, to enjoy hearing the ORHS Fight Song being played during the march to Neyland and at halftime. Step-off time is 10:20, game starts at noon, with the weather expected to be perfect for football and marching. The WildBand is thankful for this invitation as it gives us the opportunity to represent the City of Oak Ridge and Oak Ridge High School in appreciation for the support we receive from the community.”
This press release and photos were submitted by Merny Hughey.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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