Poplarville band ready for first halftime show

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 31, 2019

Several inches of rain poured onto the football field where the Poplarville High School band was going to perform during halftime of the Hornet’s first football game on Aug. 23.

The maelstrom soaked the ground to the point that Director Josh Tidwell and his band couldn’t perform their show because the equipment the band uses would create ruts in the grass.

Instead, Tidwell and his musicians performed from the stands, and were a constant source of music during the intense game between the Hornets and Laurel Golden Tornadoes.

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Even though the band was forced to spend the entire game in the stands, Tidwell said his musicians brought a sense of passion throughout the game.

“They really put a lot of energy into what they did,” Tidwell said.

“The more energy they put into it, the more they enjoyed it and the better they sounded.”

Now Tidwell wants his band to work on bringing that same intensity to rehearsals, but he knows that’s a lot to ask when the unit is practicing on a baseball field devoid of an audience each morning.

“My only concern is that they don’t put that much energy into the field show during rehearsals and you can tell a tremendous difference between the two things,” Tidwell said.

“They don’t perform as well as they can some times.”

It’s hard to replicate the game’s atmosphere during practices, and the energy was palpable during that first game.

However, Tidwell said not having to perform the halftime show helped with the nerves that usually accompany the first performance of the season.

“Everyone was a lot more relaxed because they didn’t have that hanging over them,” Tidwell said.

The band’s leadership team also helps in tough situations, and the group helps Tidwell with a variety of daily projects.

The leadership team is comprised of Audrey Bolin, Chloe Hennes, Sadie Pitre, John Dufrene, DJ Rivero, Dylan Ivers, William Pullen, Sam Cerniglia, Colton Smith, Dillon McLelland, Victoria Fischer and Zoe Farve.

“Everybody on that team puts forth a lot of effort and shows a good example for the others,” Tidwell said.

Tidwell has had to cut out or change certain parts of the musical pieces the band will perform because some parts were written for instruments his band doesn’t have.

The musicians then not only have to learn the music, but also the marching routines that accompanies each set.

“We’ve been splitting rehearsals working on marching fundamentals and physical endurance,” Tidwell said.

“And they’ve been learning the music for the second part of the show while still keeping the first part fresh.”

Friday’s game provided the band with their first opportunity to perform, and Tidwell thinks it’ll be a way to see what progress the band has made. “I think that they’re going to do pretty well with the first movement because we’ve been working on that for a bit,” Tidwell said. “Even with the bumps and hiccups it’ll be a good learning experience for the kids to get rid of the nerves.”