CHS band takes on New York City

The Cullman High School Band poses for a photo in front of the Statue of Liberty Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Sherry Latham)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Months of hard work paid off Tuesday morning when the Cullman High School (CHS) Bearcat Band performed at the Statue of Liberty on a cold, blustery New York day. The kids proudly represented Cullman, playing “The Star Spangled Banner,” “This is My Country” and selections from their 2019 field show.

The band began practicing back in July to prepare not only for marching season, supporting the Cullman Bearcat football team, but also for Tuesday’s New York City performance.

The band traveled to Huntsville last Friday to support the Bearcats in their round one playoff win against Mae Jemison, leaving shortly after halftime to make it home in time to switch buses and pack for the journey to New York.

It was very chilly at 2 a.m. Saturday morning as students, staff and chaperones worked to load the three charter buses, but the kids were full of excitement. They hurried to decorate the buses: Bus 1 went with “Beetlejuice,” and Bus 2 chose “Wicked.” Bus 3 decided on “The Phantom of the Opera.”

By 3:15, the buses pulled away for what turned out to be a 21-hour road trip. The band spent the next two days touring the Big Apple, visiting One World Observatory, The American Museum of Natural History, Times Square and Rockefeller Center. The students also went on walking tours of lower Manhattan, Zuccotti Park, Midtown and Central Park.

Everyone had dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner and Buca di Beppo. The band took in a Broadway show, “The Phantom of the Opera,” at the Majestic Theatre. 

Tuesday morning was showtime, and the band made its way to the Statue of Liberty on the ferry.

Junior piccolo player Natalie Gay said of the experience, “It was good, and now I know what it actually looks like. It was kind of windy and snowed a little, but I had a good time.”

“Mr. (Christopher) Smith, Mr. (Doug) Teuscher and the Bearcat Band never disappoint!” exclaimed CHS Principal Kim Hall. “This has been an incredible experience for the CHS Band students. They always represent our school and community with class and character. These students have made memories that will last a lifetime. Playing at the Statue of Liberty is an experience they will never forget. We are thankful for the support of school, our community and Band Boosters.”

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