A common goal

Band, Belles work together for a new kind of halftime experience


photo by Harter

Color Guard members Jamie Phillips, Emmelee Weathers and Morgan Altom hold their flags while Belle Jessica Kaiser gives hers a twirl. The Belles and color guard members worked together during summer practices on routines. The two groups and the band are working together on a new style of halftime performance.

     “I believe that when you put two amazing groups together, goods things are bound to happen.”
     Band director Jeff Villarreal has been working all summer to piece together this year’s marching show, and with summer rehearsals in full swing, students are starting to see the plan for this year’s halftime shows. As much as he has planned, though, he is not in it alone; Belle Director Amanda Harter and her girls are working together with the band and color guard to put on one halftime performance that will have more than a quarter of the student body on the field at a time.
     “This show has taken the band in new direction and I cannot wait to see the final product when it comes time for competition,” senior Drum Major Preston Mosley said. “I think the most exciting part is the fact that the Belles are now a part of the group. They will definitely add a lot to the show, especially the visual aspect of it all.”
     Using the theme And the Legend Begins, the Bison band, which has updated its name to the Bison Brigade this year, along with the color guard, meshes routines with the the Belles to provide one entertainment experience for Friday night viewers. It’s a natural fit for the students, considering there are there are Belle members who are also members of the color guard or play an instrument; getting everyone involved seemed a logical next step, although it did mean extra work all around. New members already had a lot to learn and returners a lot to review just on basics, especially with both programs growing in size this year. The Belles, used to dancing, were not used to performing using flags, and had to schedule in extra hours to learn a new skill. It didn’t stop them form getting their own routines together, though.
     “We’ve had to go over the fundamentals for all the girls this year so they know exactly how they are supposed to execute each move with precision and poise,” captain Haylee Brewer said. “They are catching on pretty quickly, and we should have them learning dances in no time. I’m excited to see how it all comes together in the end because I think it’s a pretty neat show that we have planned.”
     It’s one more move that the groups’ leaders hope end up leading to students working together as a team both on and off the field and earning new accolades in competitions.
     “We started out my freshman year with nothing but a semi-circle on the field, and now we have a 30-piece band,” senior Drum Major Kortni Hibbard said. “It’s amazing to see the development that our program has gone through in the past four years.”