Beyond halftime: Meek Band of Champions ready for marching season

Meek High School band members practiced inside Monday evening to avoid the scorching heat. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

ARLEY, Ala. – The Meek High School Band of Champions has been hard at work preparing its 2019 halftime show, “Beyond.” The band held a two-week band camp this summer. Band Director Kevin Dunham said the extended band camp allowed the students to learn the entire halftime show.

This year’s space-themed show opens with “2001: A Space Odyssey” and explores different genres of music while staying true to the topic of space, with Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” a swing version of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and a little Van Morrison. The closer will feature “Mars” and “Jupiter.” This year’s show will also include a unique clarinet ensemble showcasing the talents of the Meek High School woodwinds.

“When I plan shows, I like to do one for the older generation, something that’s popular that the kids would know and I like to do something that’s a concert piece,” Dunham said. “I like to do three different types of songs so that someone is reached no matter what.”

When The Tribune stopped in to see the band, an extreme heat advisory was in effect so the kids practiced inside. They took full advantage of that time by working on the finer points of the music. They also practiced a few of the great stand tunes fans can look forward to hearing during this year’s football games. Tiger fans can look forward to rocking out to “Louie, Louie,” “Land of 1,000 Dances,” “Eye of the Tiger” and the fight song “Rocky’s Theme.”

The Band of Champions has several fundraisers planned to help raise money for trips, equipment and other needs. Little Caesar’s packets are on sale now.

The pizza kits are available from the school and band students and Dunham said, “They taste REALLY good.”

Those are available until Sept. 14. The band will also be selling Moon Pies: a great space-themed choice. The Moon Pies will be available Sept. 6 from the band members, the school office and at home games at the concession stand.

The Meek Band has several competitions lined up this fall, including the Southern Hospitality Marching Festival in Hartselle and a competition in Muscle Shoals.

Dunham described his young musicians as “crazy talented, hardworking and fun.”

The students are more than ready for a great football and marching band season.

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Christy Perry