Editorial: High School marching bands—Cullman’s pride and joy

Bands across the county assembled in Oliver Woodard Stadium Saturday for the yearly showcase (Photos by Christy Parker)

Last weekend, the City of Cullman was bustling as Oktoberfest celebrations were happening in Depot Park and the Cullman County Fair Parade made its way through town. While both were beautifully organized and tons of fun, it was the annual event taking place Saturday night at Oliver Woodard Stadium that showcased the best of Cullman County’s spirit and talent—the Cullman County Band Exhibition. 

This year was the 28th year for the annual event that gives each school in Cullman County the opportunity to show-off their many hours of hard work and dedication. This year, WOW, they brought the goods. The shows seem to get better and better each year and it’s no wonder why these bands bring impressive hauls of hardware home during each competition season. 

If you have never attended the exhibition or experienced a marching band competition, you should. Hanceville’s Mud Creek Marching Festival is scheduled for October 23 at Ray Talley Stadium, and I strongly encourage checking it out. I guarantee it will not only be entertaining but uplifting, especially for those with younger children. 

Why? There is a uniqueness to band competitions and exhibitions that I have yet to see duplicated during any other school sporting event. Band kids have a level of mutual respect with each other, as well as those from other schools, that you have to see to fully understand. Although they might be from rival schools, bands support and love to see others do their best. It’s inspiring—the sportsmanship, support and appreciation they all have for one another. 

Band kids don’t exhibit bitterness or act ugly when another band does something great. They acknowledge it and they do so with genuine and heartfelt enthusiasm. They give each other standing ovations, thunderous applause and cheers. They feed off the positive energy that builds up after each performance and they are able to use that energy as fuel for their own. 

While last Saturday’s exhibition did not have judges scores or trophies awarded afterwards, the first opportunity to perform in a stadium full of their peers certainly elevated their determination to do their very best. The exhibition also serves as a launching pad as the bands enter competition season. 

What should excite and motivate people to support the band in their endeavors is: the same standout character they displayed at the exhibition will be the impression others are left with as they travel throughout the state and beyond. The marching bands are often the only ambassadors of one’s school and community to travel outside of the immediate district. Seeing their stellar behavior and talents Saturday night lets me know Cullman County can take pride in knowing they have first class representation. 

A heartfelt congratulations is due the nine bands that performed at this year’s Cullman County Band Exhibition: Cullman Middle School Advanced Band, Cold Springs Royal Blue Band, Holly Pond Broncos, Hanceville Bulldogs, Vinemont Eagles, Good Hope Raiders, West Point Warriors, Fairview Aggies and the Cullman High School Bearcats. It was the most impressive exhibition yet and you will, no doubt, earn Superior ratings wherever you go this school year.

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