Southern University from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, arrived in Hattiesburg Saturday, Sept. 9, to face against the Golden Eagles at the Rock. Though competitive energy filled the first half, when halftime began, the game did not seem to matter.
Dr. Nathan Haymer, Director of Bands at SU, and Dr. Colin McKenzie, Director of the Pride of Mississippi, contacted each other weeks before the game to make the collaboration happen. The bands were able to rehearse together on Pride Field Saturday afternoon and show respect for the other’s programs.
During halftime, the crowd enthusiastically cheered for Southern’s show and erupted into applause again when the Human Jukebox returned to the field to join the Pride, where the two bands played Dr. Haymer’s arrangement of America the Beautiful.
Pride members responded to the event.
“The opportunity to bring two completely different styles of band together was an amazing experience. It was also a chance for each band to appreciate and understand each other’s styles,” percussionist Devin Allen said.
“The way we were brought together through music is incredible,” fellow percussionist Matthew Cadow said.
The Performance was shared by thousands on social media, including WLOX and WLBT, news stations of the Gulf Coast and Jackson areas.
Haymer also commented on the musical collaboration. “There are many things that divide us as a nation but the power of music is the one element that bridges all gaps in humanity,” Haymer said.