‘For All Mankind’

Bearcat Band to ‘journey into space’ this fall

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The Cullman Bearcat Band is directed by Drum Major Rees Sheffield during band camp. (Sara Gladney for the Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Bearcat Band completed its final week of band camp this week with an evening performance for the community.

Christopher Smith, director of the Bearcat Band for 19 years, said, “The kids have worked really hard – it’s been hot – but they’ve been working really hard. We do two-a-day practices. We have 8-noon and then we do a 6-9 rehearsal at night to avoid the hottest part of the day.”

The percussion section has been on campus practicing since July 7. Bearcat band camps start with percussion and then each week in July, more instrument groups are added so they can perfect their music and routines before the entire band gets together for practice. The whole 130-member band only practiced its halftime show together during the final week of band camp.

Smith said that so far, the band has completed its opener and the first of three sections of the show.

“That’s usually where we are at this stage of the game. We’ve got the first tune on the field ready to go and almost all the sets and formations, and then over the next couple of weeks we’ll add more of the show,” he said. “It usually takes us till about game two or three to get most of the elements because it’s a very elaborate show. Lots of drill, lots of sets, lots of props and equipment, so it takes some time to get the entire thing. The good thing about that is the audience gets something new each week.”

This year’s show, titled “For All Mankind,” is about man’s journey into space. It begins with a clip of a speech by former President John F. Kennedy. There are sound effects and clips included from mission control and famous astronauts. The show incorporates sci-fi elements with music from the films “Apollo 13” and “Star Trek into Darkness,” as well as “The Planets” by Gustav Holst.

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