Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Yellow Jackets go Orange; Blue Knights in high Cotton

Oxford High School band members practice Tuesday after school for their performance at the Orange Bowl and a parade in Miami on New Year's Day. Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star

Two local bands will help revelers ring in the New Year in two of the country's biggest cities.

Piedmont High School will travel to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl, and Oxford High School will perform at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

Chris Pennington, director at Oxford, said that though other bands had to audition, Orange Bowl organizers sent a special invitation to the Yellow Jacket band.

"They look at programs who have traveled in the past, and they look at your accomplishments over the years," he said.

"Occasionally, they select a program they know will be able to hold up to what they need it to do."

Oxford will be one of 10 bands from around the country to perform during the festivities surrounding the Bowl Championship Series game.

Band members will leave Dec. 30 for Miami. On New Year's Day the Yellow Jacket band will compete in a field show and then march in the Orange Bowl parade.

The winner of the national competition will perform alone before the Jan. 3 game featuring Virginia Tech and Kansas, set to air at 7 p.m. on Fox.

n Piedmont, the Blue Knights band has been preparing for its New Year's trip to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl.

Director Jamie Thomas said this was the biggest trip he could recall for the Piedmont High School band.

The group sent a tape of last year's halftime show to Cotton Bowl officials and won a spot through that audition.

The Blue Knights will be one of 14 bands involved in the Cotton Bowl.

"We worked hard, and the musicianship and entertainment value of the show helped them select us," Thomas said.

Cotton Bowl organizers have sent each band arrangements of songs they'll perform during pre-game and halftime of the game Jan. 1, which pits Missouri against Arkansas and will air at 10:30 a.m.

The band will also perform in the Cotton Bowl parade through downtown Dallas on New Year's Eve.

See the full story here.

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