8-19-05 – The Durant High School Lion Pride Band is headed to a college bowl game this winter. 117 band members, plus the dance team and color guard will perform at the Liberty Bowl half-time show in Memphis, Tennessee, on New Year's Eve, 2005.
An anonymous nomination landed the award-winning marching band in the Liberty Bowl show. Along with a few dozen other bands from around the country, the Lions’ Pride will march at half time and compete for a the chance to march in the pre-game show.
Playing for a crowd of over 50,000 sports fans will be quite a step up for these high school students, who march on Fridays during football season to a stadium of a few thousand spectators.
"Oh man, a college football game! There’s going to be a lot intensity going on, and a lot of screaming people," says John Heath, a senior tuba player.
"We’re excited. When you see that crowd, the adrenaline starts going. It's probably a lot like what a quarterback feels when he gets on the field in a professional game," says Chris Gregg, band director at Durant High School.
The band practices every day for an hour before school, but their hard work for the bow game has barely begun. The trip will cost $47,000. Plans for fundraisers are already underway. The band members say the trip will be worth it.