As the sun set on E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field last Thursday, the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band rehearsed in front of an excited crowd of students, parents, alumni, and friends at their end-of-camp celebration. Hundreds of spectators showed up to support the band as they previewed their 2022 production, "Let It Burn."
While there is a lot of work yet to be done, one thing is certain. The Pride of the Mountains Marching Band will continue to bring the entertainment and excellence that Catamount fans look forward to every year.
When Spencer Childers decided to attend Western Carolina University four years ago, he couldn’t possibly anticipate the roller coaster ride he would take, including ending his last semester at home away from his campus community and friends.
He also never anticipated being named drum major for the Pride of the Mountains marching band as a rising sophomore or leading the same band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Needless to say, Spencer has made the most of his time at WCU.
For the Pride of the Mountains, a game day begins before most college students are even out of the bed. On a chilly Saturday morning, the band spends hours preparing for the intricacies of a college football game. Much like a theatrical production, a game is all about timing, and the band plays an integral part in making sure that the schedule stays on track.
For the Pride of the Mountains, entertaining fans during their halftime performance is what makes all of the longs rehearsal hours worth it. It’s a rewarding 12 minutes not only for them but for the staff and student assistants who pour their lives into creating a memorable moment for all catamount fans.
As 535 of Western Carolina University’s students descended upon the stadium in Enka, North Carolina, so did the thunderstorms. While the weather may have prevented their afternoon show, the students of the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band didn’t let that affect the energy they brought to close out the night. For years they have taken their show on the road to entertain high school bands from across the region.
This trip also serves as a great opportunity for the band to put their logistical skills to the test in preparation for the trip to New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
For the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band, practice starts well before the first football game. While preparing for the debut of their percussion feature in this years' show "Believe," these students show just how much practice makes perfect.