Meek High School Band of Champions planning royal halftime show

Hayden Hyatt/The Cullman Tribune

A member of the Meek High School Band of Champions plays drums during after-school band practice at Meek High School

ARLEY – Meek High School's Band of Champions may be smaller than many in the area, but it’s poised to bring big sound to the field this marching season.

Band Director Kevin Dunham and the rest of the band have a show stacked with familiar hits this year.

“This year the theme is ‘Musical Royalty,” said Dunham. “We're opening with 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson, then were going into 'Love Me Tender' by Elvis Presley and then transitioning into 'Hound Dog', also by Elvis, then were closing off with 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen. It's kind of a play on their titles, 'King of Pop,' 'King of Rock' and then Queen.”

Meek's halftime show will have a broad appeal to audience members, according to Dunham.

“Well there's a little bit of everything for everyone.” he shared. “We have a few different musical eras going on and everyone has something they would like in there.”

Dunham said that although the band is a bit small, he has arranged the music to ensure the band has the best sound possible.

“We're marching about 25 this year, which it's pretty close to what it usually is, but it's still a little smaller,” Dunham explained. “We had to rearrange some of the music so that other parts are brought out, which that's to be expected with any small band. I have the trombone part playing baritone during the closer and the same with clarinet. They're playing the baritones’ part to help bring it out and everyone kinda picks up a little slack and it really rounds out the sound.”

Being in his first year as director at Meek, Dunham said this year’s band camp was a success.

“Band camp went great, you know, they work really hard; I was very proud of them,” Dunham said. “I pushed them hard, but they stuck with me.”

Marching season is not the only focus for the Band of Champions.

“My philosophy has always been, a good inside band makes a good outside band,” said Dunham. “My main goal is to have as many students as possible doing as many honor bands as possible. I can teach them as much as I possibly can, but if they want to truly learn they need to get into these ensembles. It's a really competitive scene and they can learn as much as they're willing to.”

Dunham also wants to have the students prepared for concert season.

“I want to have (the students) nice and ready for musical performance assessment,” Dunham said. “I want to have them ready for that. Concerts are going to be our main work there. I really want to have a nice good inside sound.”

Dunham invites community members to see the hard work his students have put in over the summer.

“I would love for see everyone come out and support a great band, because these kids are trying hard and they deserve the audience,” said Dunham. “I'm looking forward to a great year; I'm really proud of the kids.”

Meek’s first football game kicks off Thursday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. versus Cold Springs at Cold Springs High School.

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