Foley High School band playing in state Bicentennial Parade

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 12/9/19

FOLEY - The Foley High School marching band, or the Mighty Band from Lion Land, will be walking in Alabama’s Bicentennial Parade happening in Montgomery on Dec. 14. The students were given the …

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Foley High School band playing in state Bicentennial Parade

Photo by Jessica Vaughn
Posted

FOLEY - The Foley High School marching band, or the Mighty Band from Lion Land, will be walking in Alabama’s Bicentennial Parade happening in Montgomery on Dec. 14. The students were given the opportunity after sending in an audition tape in hopes of participating.

“This is a huge honor, especially when it’s Alabama’s 200th birthday and it just so happens that it falls on a Saturday,” said Director of Bands David Samuel. “It’s going to be a good time and great PR for the band and the community, just to go represent the school, Foley, and Baldwin County altogether.”

He said they will be playing an arrangement he wrote called “God Bless America,” which you may have heard recently if you attended Foley’s Veteran’s Day Parade. Superintendent Eddie Tyler paid for the buses to Montgomery, which Samuel states the staff and students are extremely grateful for.

Foley High School offers a large and diverse band program to its students, giving them multiple opportunities to perform a variety of ways. Students can choose to perform in any of the school’s bands, including steel band, two jazz bands, indoor percussion drum line, winter guard, two concert bands, wind ensemble group, a symphonic band, and the marching band. Students perform throughout the year during high school programs and sports games, parades, festivals, competitions, as well as throughout the community and at community events.

There are approximately 200 students in the High School Band program this year, which is down after the unusually large number of seniors who graduated back in spring.

The directors bring in music professors to speak with the students, wanting to expose their students to as many industry pros as possible. The program has no plans of stopping, recently applying for a grant in the hopes of creating a recording studio at the school, where students studying to go into sound production, music production, sound engineering, music editing, live sound, and more can get first-hand experience.

“We’re blessed, we know a lot of programs don’t have as supportive of a group as we do,” said Associate Director Jimmy O’Cain. “The community, the parents and our administration here are really the reason why we’re able to be as successful as we are, because we want our students to understand that this is a first-class organization. The community understands that if we don’t show them what first-class is, they’re never going to hold that standard.”

Along with Samuel and O’Cain, two more directors, Michael Roy and newest employee Steven Kershaw, are on staff to introduce students to the world of music.

To learn more about Foley High School, check out their website at www.bcbe.org/foley.