The Sun News

Bands are ready to get down and throw down

Members of the Northside High School marching band play during halftime of the school’s game Friday against Lee County.
Members of the Northside High School marching band play during halftime of the school’s game Friday against Lee County.

Tubas, snares, flutes, sousaphones and trumpets will take the field for the 23rd annual Houston County Band Night.

Being help Oct. 25 at McConnell-Talbert Stadium in Warner Robins, the performances start at 7 p.m. In case of inclement weather, band night be will Oct. 26.

This is an opportunity each year for the high school bands to perform in front of each other.

At the beginning of the night, about 1,200 students from all eight middle schools and five high schools in Houston County will perform the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

The middle schools will then collectively perform two selections.

Perry High School sophomore Ian Cornelius remembers being nervous when he played during band night a few years ago.

“It was intimidating, but then I relaxed when I realized we were all playing the same thing,” he said.

The 15-year-old mellophone player is looking forward to putting on a performance in front of the Houston County community.

“I’m hoping we do our best in front of everyone and give them a show to remember,” Cornelius said.

Perry’s band pushes the envelope every year with its performances.

Director Andy Hursey writes his own music and drills for each show. The 1997 Houston County High School graduate was mentored by former long time Houston High director Wally Shaw, who retired in 2015.

This year’s theme, “Paranormal Activity,” features eerie special effects and a few surprises.

“We don’t want to be like everyone else. We’d much rather do shows people remember for years rather than win trophies,” Hursey said.

Hursey has been the band director at Perry High exclusively since 2007, but was director of both the middle and high schools from 2003-2007.

Perry’s drum major, Kaity Wells, likes to perform at band night because the audience is made up of other bands and band parents who appreciate the more complicated drills and music.

“You can feel the energy. It is just exhilarating,” the junior said.

Warner Robins High School is coming off of a grand champion win at Spirit of the South at Tift County High School and will perform that show at band night.

Northside High, Veterans High School and Houston County High will perform their competition and football halftime shows during the evening.

For the bands, it is an opportunity for county bragging rights on a football field but outside of the football game.

“The kids want to see who gets the most applause. They want to impress everyone,” Hursey said.

For more information on band night, contact Hursey at 478-988-6298.