To compete with the best you have to be one of the best. That is true for the 65 Smith-Cotton band members who will soon be leaving Sedalia for their upcoming appearance in the Tax Slayer Bowl halftime show and parade Jan. 1 and 2 in Jacksonville, Florida.
For the seniors in band this marks their second trip to a bowl game, which has taken a great deal of hard work and dedication on their behalf, according to S-C Band Director Grant Maledy.
“Our seniors performed at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis three years ago,” Maledy said. “This trip brings them full circle.”
The band was extended an invitation to apply for the performances and was selected based on their resume from past competitions.
“Our marching festival results really helped with our selection,” Maledy said. “These guys have been working since last year for this and their efforts have paid off.”
Last year the band performed at Springfield, Carrolton, Reed Springs, Lee’s Summit and St. Louis in various competitions and festivals.
Maledy said the band received their music for the parade and halftime show in May. The members have been in preparation for the event since July when they met for band camp.
“We will be performing three selections, ‘American Fantasy,’ ‘American Woman’ and ‘We’re an American Band,’” Maledy said. “Everything is coming together really well and we’re ready for the shows.”
Thirteen other bands will be performing with the Tigers at the halftime show and the parade.
“I really want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the community on behalf of the band for all the help and support they have given us,” Maledy said. “I know we’ve sold a lot of candy bars and band cards to raise the money for the trip.
“Papa Murphy’s and Freddy’s have been great about letting us host fundraisers there too,” Maledy added. “The district has helped us and supported us so much too and we couldn’t make these appearances without their help.”
The students will depart Dec. 29 for the trip to Jacksonville and will be gone six days.
While they are in Florida, they will have the chance to visit Universal Studios Orlando and will spend some time on the beach at the Atlantic Ocean.
“We are really excited about this opportunity,” Maledy said. “We are really looking forward to representing Smith-Cotton and Sedalia on a national stage.”
Penn State will face Georgia in the Tax Slayer Bowl. The game will be televised by ESPN at noon Saturday, Jan. 2.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484