CCISD bands, cheer and dance show off routines

By BRITTANY FHOLER 
Cove Leader-Press 

The Copperas Cove High School Pride of Cove Marching Band treated Copperas Cove residents with a performance on Thursday evening, featuring music from this season’s program at the 2019 Spirit Spectacular at the Bulldawg Stadium. 
Thursday’s event included introductions of this year’s CCHS Copperettes, Varsity cheerleaders and the Bulldawg varsity football team as well as the Pride of Cove band and color guard. 
Members of the CCHS marching band have been practicing all month and learning the marching routine as well as their music for this year’s program, “On Cloud 9.”
There are 185 band students, with 40 students in leadership positions as section leaders or drum majors and 27 in color guard, according to Band Secretary Deborah Kelley. 
Several band students will be working double duty at the football games this fall, with some cheerleaders also playing an instrument and one of the drum majors also in the flag color guard for JROTC. 
Band students from both Copperas Cove Junior High and S.C. Lee Junior High joined the CCHS Pride of Cove Band on the field for part of Thursday night’s performance before the high school band and color guard members moved into the first portion of their program, “On Cloud 9.” Color guard members utilized their flags and rifles while band members played their hearts out. 
The program features a flute solo, performed by junior Lillian Peterson, and a clarinet solo, performed by junior Ryan Kirkwood.
There have been some changes that will be very noticeable this year. 
“There’s a lot of movement in this show, which is new,” said Nancy Norris, assistant band and color guard director. “We’ve added some visuals and this year, there’s a whole lot more.”
New this year is Kenneth Marina, who is the assistant band director at S.C. Lee Junior High School. Marina has been helping the CCHS band with visuals and marching, bringing with him three years of drum corps experience. 
“We’ve kind of revamped a lot of the marching style, where we’ve made it more relaxed, trying to look for consistency across the board,” Marina said. “I think they’ve been doing a really, really good job at getting more aware visually, and then on top of that there’s been a lot more movement demand over the past year, incorporating a lot of different dance techniques, a lot of things, kind of getting them out of their comfort zone, breaking away from their little box and getting them kind of into this new world of where marching band is going in this day and age. They’re working really, really hard.”
Kelley added that there is a new look, with a lot of energy on the field this year. 
“One thing that we are consistently stressing is positivity, positivity, positivity, especially when it gets to be 100 plus degrees, and we’re all tired, and we’re all stressed from work or school or whatever,” Marina said. “Making sure that we’re all going through it together and we’re pushing together.”
Thursday’s Spirit Spectacular was the first time the band and color guard had performed from this year’s program in front of a large crowd of people from the community. For the freshmen students, this year also marks their first year of marching. 
“One of the girls walked out on the field tonight and she was like ‘There’s so many people,’” Norris said. “I patted her on the back and was like, ‘Welcome to the Pride of Cove.’ Because it was a surreal moment as an incoming freshman to look up into the stands and see hundreds of people sitting up there, you know.”
Brandon Sargent, one of the section leaders, said he thought the Spirit Spectacular went well. 
“I’m glad we got to perform the show. We usually don’t get to get this far into a show like this. We were hoping we could march it, but we just didn’t have the time to do it this week,” Sargent said. “The visual effect is insane compared to previous shows. I’m excited.”
Marina said that the junior high students getting to participate helped give them a taste of what’s to come. 
“I think from a junior high standpoint, it was super exciting to listen, super exciting for my kids to watch and see what they’re going to be in the near future, seeing those big old bright eyes, seeing how these high school juniors and seniors are acting, and performing and playing, it’s something for them to look forward to, not only within this year but with the coming years and continuing on with band,” Marina said. 
In addition to acting as a way for the band and other organizations to show school spirit and show off their hard work, Thursday’s event also acted as a fundraiser for the Band and Color Guard Booster Club, with raffle prizes and one of the concession stands open and operated by Booster Club volunteers. 
The Pride of Cove Band will be performing their full program at the half-time show of the first CCHS Varsity football game of the season this Friday, August 30, against Burleson at the Bulldawg Stadium with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

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