After only four hours of practice, Smith-Cotton Instrumental Music Director Grant Maledy can already tell the members of the high school band are marching in the right direction.
The 74 members began a 10-day long camp Thursday to prepare them for the upcoming season.
“I am well pleased with how we are doing,” Maledy said. “They have already picked up most of the movements for the first drill after just a few hours.”
The band has several events to prepare for in the upcoming months, the highlight being a performance at the TaxSlayer Bowl (formerly the Gator Bowl) on Jan. 2.
“We really do a have a long season,” Maledy said. “Our first performance will be Aug. 7 with our preview show. Then we keep going with at least five home football games, and a number of competitions and parades.”
Area residents can see the marching Tigers perform in a matter of weeks: the band will appear at the Missouri State Fair Parade on Aug. 13.
They will also make an appearance at the Christmas Parade in Downtown Sedalia on Dec. 5.
The theme for the band’s show is Fathoms, which Maledy describes as a nautical show that features several new selections for the group.
To help the members learn not only the required steps and marching formations, but the music as well, the band is hosting two-a-day practices, from 8 a.m. to noon and then from 1 to 4 p.m.
“Our numbers are up 50 percent from last year,” Maledy said. “We added a lot of members from junior high and retained a lot of upperclassmen too.
“These kids work really hard and I am extremely proud of them,” he added.
Not only do the students work hard on the field, the second Tuesday of each month is a Papa Murphy Pizza Fundraiser night for the group. A portion of all sales those nights is donated back to the band to help pay for their trip to Jacksonville, Florida, and their bowl appearance.
“I can’t say enough about the support the district and TIMPO (Tiger Instrumental Musical Promoters Organizers) provides the band and the instrumental musical program as a whole,” Maledy said. “We couldn’t do this without their support and the support of the parents and community.”
To show their appreciation, the Marching Tigers will present a preview performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7 at Heckart Field at Smith-Cotton Stadium at the Jennie Jaynes Activity Complex. The performance is free and open to the public.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484