Vinemont Eagle Marching Band takes crowd on a trip through the heyday of MTV

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(Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

VINEMONT, Ala. – Last Friday, the Vinemont Eagles recorded an impressive win against Tarrant High School and supporting them every step of the way was the Vinemont Eagle Marching Band. Don’t let the size of the band fool you. The Vinemont High School Band, under the direction of Skylar King, has incredible talent and a big sound. 

This year’s show is entitled “Video Killed the Radio Star” featuring the biggest songs from MTV’s heyday and hits longs long before the band’s members were even born. Paige Holcomb, a senior and one of the band’s student leaders, said of the show, “It is a cool throwback kind of thing. I knew most of the songs and they are all great songs.” 

The band performs some great tunes from Van Halen, Blondie, Run DMC, Nirvana and more. King reports that the band has much of the show ready, but they are still working on the show’s closing sets. King has mixed in some fun extras too. “I got samples from MTV and some of the commercials they actually played during that time. There will be some familiar voices for the diehard ‘MTV heads’ from back in the day.” 

Besides performing at football games, marching bands also have a competitive season in the fall when they travel to compete. Last year, COVID significantly disrupted the ability for the contests to be held thus denying the bands the opportunity to show off their hard work in front of judges and other bands. So far, this year’s outlook is positive, and Holcomb couldn’t be happier. 

“I am excited that we get to do our normal ones this year. It’s just a really good bonding time for us to be able to do things together. Last year was really hard, but we made the best out of it,” she said. 

King has a couple of contests lined up for his band in the coming weeks.  He said, “We are going to TVI in Muscle Shoals, and we are also attending the State Marching Championship down in Pelham.” The contest in Pelham is a new format King is excited to see happening. He explained, “That is going to be a competition between all schools in Class 3A. We’ll be competing similarly to how we would for any athletic competition. Most contests are done as a fundraiser for the host school but this State Marching Championship is going to be a benchmark for all marching bands in the State of Alabama. The hope is that it can become like the MPA Spring performance.” 

At most marching competitions, a band’s classification is based on number of members, but the State Marching Competition will keep bands within their school’s normal classification, regardless of the band’s size. “We will compete against other schools that are also in Class 3A–anybody we would compete against in area games. We will go up against bands larger and smaller,” King said. 

Of course, a huge contributor to any band’s success is the dedication from the parents. While the band performs in the stands and on the field, The Vinemont Band Boosters are busy in one of the concession stands to help raise money for the band’s expenses. Treasurer Milli Keel said, “We did a fundraiser recently and we were able to get a new wrap for our new trailer. Before COVID, we were actually able to purchase a new trailer. It had just been white, but we were able to raise the money for the wrap and that was nice. The kids are really proud of that.” 

The band currently has a mum fundraiser and mums can be purchased through the end of the month. Their largest fundraiser, the Vinemont Band Arts and Craft Show, is scheduled for November at the Cullman Church of Christ. The show will take place the weekend before Thanksgiving. Keel hopes they can help raise enough funds to help launch a Winter Color Guard. 

The Vinemont Marching Band will be participating in the Cullman Fair Parade and the Cullman County Marching Band Exhibition. Both events are scheduled for Saturday, October 2. The exhibition will showcase all of Cullman County’s talented bands and the shows begin at 6:00 p.m. Cost of general admission is $5, and student tickets, $2. Nine bands are scheduled to perform.