Jemison band earns high marks

Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016

October was an award-winning month for the Jemison High School Blue Regiment Marching Band, which competed in a pair of competitions and garnered serious recognition.

The first event was the 33rd Annual Heart of Dixie Marching Festival in Prattville on Oct. 8.

According to band director Dakota Bromley, the band was rated by a panel of judges on the intricacies of their 2016 halftime production “After Dark,” that consisted of songs “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” “Saturday Night’s Alright,” “Creep,” “Thriller,” “Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In.”

Once the band took the field, all Bromley could do was watch and hope that the hours of practice paid off.

“I was a little nervous for them, but I knew that they were prepared,” Bromley said. “At that point it was all in their hands.”

Band members received superior ratings in several categories including drum major, color guard, dance line, majorette, percussion and band.

Superior ratings are the highest ratings that a band can receive in a competition format.

“It was really cool to see them get recognized, because it has been a long time coming,” Bromley said.

The band also earned the honor of best in class for drum major, color guard, dance line and band, and carried its momentum with much of the same during the Pell City Marching Festival on Oct. 15.

“It’s kind of our culminating thing every year,” Bromley said. “It’s what we work towards. We’re always looking for the best that we can get.”

The major difference in Pell City was that they were awarded the Dennis Diffie Most Entertaining Band award in two separate classes.

“I’ve got a great group with a lot of senior leadership, and you can tell it especially when you go out to the practice field,” Bromley said. “I never had to ask them to do anything twice. They were just hungry and ready to get out there and win.”

Bromley is in his third year teaching band at both Jemison High School and Jemison Middle School.

Students can take the gradual steps up by starting with beginning band in sixth grade before an eventual transition to the marching band in high school.

“My high school band director had a really big impact on me,” Bromley said. “I just decided one day that I couldn’t live without doing that [band]. I just love it.”

Jemison’s success is just the latest by bands in the county, as the number of students interested in getting involved continues to grow at schools throughout the county.

“We’ve got really good band directors,” Bromley said. “I don’t believe that any program in the county is trending down. The numbers and quality are both up.”