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Students hit the field for Band Day at Troy

Students from Highland Home School and Luverne High School had the chance to perform with the Sound of the South at Troy University’s Band Day (Photo courtesy of Holly Ammons).

Students from Highland Home School and Luverne High School had the chance to perform
with the Sound of the South at Troy University’s Band Day (Photo courtesy of Holly Ammons).

After weeks of hard practicing and dedication to their music, Luverne High School and Highland Home High School had the chance to travel to Troy University to participate in Band Day. Throughout the day, 20 high school bands and approximately 3,000 students from all across the state had the opportunity to rehearse and perform with Troy University’s Sound of the South marching band.

“The experience was great, way better than I thought it would be. The people were nice about everything and it was organized,” said Cheyenne Commander, drum major for HHS.

“As drum major it was also great because you got to see all different styles of conducting. It’s definitely a thing that would be great to attend every year.”

Commander says at first she wasn’t sure about diving into the world of band after high school, but once she had the chance to perform on the collegiate level, there was no going back.

“Honestly I didn’t think I wanted to do anything with band after high school. Now that I’ve participated with a college band, it sure is a thing I’m going to look in to,” she said.

Along the way, Commander says she has learned some of her greatest leadership lessons in her role as drum major.

Pictured is Cheyenne Commander, performing at Highland Home’s Homecoming (Photo courtesy of Michelle Mansmann).

Pictured is Cheyenne Commander,
performing at Highland Home’s Homecoming (Photo courtesy of Michelle Mansmann).

“The most important aspect of being a drum major is your leadership skills, and also being able to work with other people,” she said.

“I think the greatest lesson I’ve taken from this position would be that not everyone’s the same. Not everyone learns music quickly or picks up marching as quickly. It’s easy for people to just assume that you’re a quick learner. Sometimes it takes one-on-one time and effort to help people out.”

Jonathan Chance, band director for LHS, has attended Band Day at Troy University for many years now, and each year he says the enthusiasm of the students continues to grow.

“It’s a yearly thing, and I think we’re going on 12 years now of doing Band Day. I take my entire band,” he said.

Chance also mentioned the amount of community support that comes from the Crenshaw County Troy Alumni Chapter in the form of food preparation before the performance in the arena.

“Most of these kids don’t get to experience the college atmosphere, so it’s good for them to get to explore the campus a little bit and to be able to step on the field at Troy and be with the Sound of the South on the field,” Chance said.

“It not only gets them interested in a college band, but it also hooks them into our band.”