Tomorrow the Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and the Dixie Darlings will have their annual Pride Preview on Pride Field, starting at 7 p.m.
All students, faculty and fans of The University of Southern Mississippi are invited to attend, and are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, snacks and even a picnic.
The Pride Preview traditionally serves as the kickoff to the football season, with the appearance of the brass ensemble and the twirling Darlings heralding in the start of a new season as surely as Punxsutawney Phil failing to see his shadow heralds in anearly spring.
Expectations are high for the band this year, and a level of excitement and confi dence permeates the air during practice.
“The Pride has been preparing for the Pride Preview and the first football game since the week before classes started,” said Pride director James Standland. “We are excited about the progress we have made and we know that fans will truly enjoy what The Pride has prepared (for them).”
This season especially the Pride will be not only talented, but younger than in previous years, having undergone an infusion of youthful new faces over the summer.
“Although we are very young, the students are working hard and living up to the high expectations place on us each year,” – Standland
“The Pride of Mississippi has a rich tradition of musical excellence and this year is no different. “Not only their director, but also individual members of the band and color guard are excited for the season to start and confident that they are well prepared for it.
“We had band camp at the beginning of the year,” said sophomore hospitality major Hannah Hill, a member of the color guard. “We went from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, and I feel like this year the Pride is very focused.”
The Pride’s first on-field performance will be Sept. 5 at the Rock, when the Golden Eagles will take on Mississippi State. Hill is certainly excited.
“I cannot wait to perform our show for the Mississippi State game,” she said. “The crowd is going to freak out.”