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The Poplarville band hopes to build off of first performance

The Poplarville Hornets band had its first show last Friday as the group performed during halftime of the football game between Poplarville and Jefferson Davis County.

Band Director Ken White said the musicians had to overcome some nerves as they prepared for their first show of the year.

The jitters were understandable given the lack of performances so far this year, along with the fact that Friday’s game was played in an unfamiliar stadium on Pearl River Community College’s campus.

“They did what a typical band does when they’re nervous and didn’t play as loud as they normally would. We did well at halftime and I was pleased with everything. They loosened up and you can tell they enjoyed it after that,” White said.

Playing in a stadium that large is an unusual occurrence for the band and may have intimidated the musicians.

“I think kids were so focused on their performance and what to do on the field that I wouldn’t say COVID-19 made them nervous or anything,” White said.

COVID-19 restrictions in place for the group require the musicians to wait until the entirety of the football team has left the field before taking the field themselves for their performance.

That specific protocol led to a delay that messed up the normal timing of the band’s show, but because there was no visiting band to split the halftime spotlight with White said the delayed start wasn’t all that impactful.

Now that the musicians have a performance to draw from White expects a better showing at this week’s game.

“We need to realize that was just the first performance. You know what you did right and you know what you did wrong and just get better from here,” White said.

Only a quarter of the entire halftime show was performed last Friday and White said his program is taking it slow.

There are no competitions the group has to be ready for because they’ve been cancelled due to COVID-19.

This means the musicians can progressively learn certain tunes at a slower pace instead of having to sprint through several musical pieces at the beginning of the year.

“We’re not in a big rush due to fact that we have no contests this year, so there’s no reason to shove it in as fast as possible. We’re taking it little by little,” White said.

The band’s next performance will take place Sept. 11 when the Hornets football team takes on the D’Iberville Warriors.