In this undated photo, the Siegel High School marching band performs at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. (Photo courtesy of R. Kulp)
This week will be a busy one for the Siegel High School marching band beginning tonight when it will perform at halftime of the football game against Beech tonight as part of the MyTV30 "Thursday Night Lights" series.
Two days later, they will perform with the University of Tennessee marching band during the game against South Alabama at the legendary Neyland Stadium in front of crowd of more than 100,000 fans.
Siegel band director Randy Rhody said he is thrilled at the chance to perform with one of the premier collegiate bands in the nation.
“The Siegel band is very excited about our upcoming trip to Knoxville and performing at halftime for the UT-South Alabama game in Neyland Stadium,” Rhody said. “It will be the largest crowd our students will have ever performed for. It will be an overnight trip. We are planning on practicing with The Pride of the Southland Marching Band on Friday and Saturday before the game.”
A talented group of 140 Siegel band members will be making the 173-mile, three-hour drive down Interstate 40 to Knoxville to perform a musical number with the UT band. The Siegel band has been hard at work working on halftime performances from the musical selection of Antonin Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” at Siegel football games, in addition to its special performance with the Volunteer band.
“It has been a challenge to basically prepare two shows up to this point,” Rhody said. “While we are working on our main show, we are learning three new pieces of music and drill sets for the UT game. So, we have been busy.”
Rhody said the music selection for the performance with UT will be a patriotic themed show with a finale of “God Bless the USA.”
The partnership came together between the two legendary bands because Rhody was once a member of The Pride.
“I am a graduate of UT, and I was in the band for four years while I was training to be a band director,” Rhody said. “The experience helped to mold me into the teacher I have become. I thrived from the environment set by my director at UT, W.J. Julian. It was tough and excellence demanded from Julian. Also, both of my daughters have been in the UT Band for four years, and they both were promoted to black suit leaders in their final years.”
Gary Sousa, director of The Pride, added, “The University of Tennessee Band program has had a very close relationship with Randy Rhody and the Siegel band for years. Randy is clearly one of the outstanding high school band directors in the state. He is a distinguished graduate of UT, and both of his daughters, Megan and Sarena, are attending UT and members of The Pride. We are very excited to have the Siegel band join us in Neyland Stadium for what will be certainly be a life-changing experience for each and every student and their parents.”
Siegel has only been around since 2003, but its marching band has already made a name for itself around the state for its award-winning performances at big competitions.
It was named Contest of Champions Grand Champion in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and it is a three-time winner of the Tennessee Governor’s Cup, in addition to other awards.
Siegel has had more than 300 All Rutherford County band members, more than 200 All Mid-State Band members and more than 25 All-State Band and Orchestra members.
Drum major Marlynda Steiner and soloists Robert Spurlin, Marilin Kelly and Lauren Duvall lead the 2013 Siegel band.
Kickoff for the UT game will be on Saturday at 11:21 a.m. with the performance at halftime.