The AHS Pride of The Indians Marching Band


Ryan Strickland

Saturday, October 23, the band competed at the annual Peach State Competition at Barron Stadium in Rome. This year, the band competed in the AA category against other bands including McEachern High School and Gordon Lee High School among others. The Pride of The Indians Marching Band performed their show titled “Mission: Mars,” which included song selections from the Star Trek Theme, “Fly Me To The Moon” By Frank Sinatra, and “Rocketman” by Elton John. The band earned a superior rating in all categories at the competition, achieving this for the first time in over 13 years. Kaylee Nichols, sophomore, said, “ The hype before performing, and how it felt to perform in front of a large, professional crowd was amazing, to say the least. I can’t wait for our next one.” 

The Armuchee High School Pride of the Indians Marching Band is an integral part of the AHS community. From performing at football games to playing at pep rallies, the band brings everybody together with fight songs, chants, and even Sweet Caroline. Emalee Collins, sophomore, said, “Marching band is like one big family.” Kaili Wheeler, also a sophomore, said, “The marching band brings a lot more energy and excitement to our school’s games.”

During the 2020 season, and for the fall of 2021, the band was heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr. Bates, band director, has been teaching at Armuchee for the past 13 years. He said, “The best way to continue moving forward is to remind everyone how much they are cared for and how even the smallest accomplishments are huge during this difficult time. Through teamwork and positivity, we continue to forge ahead!” However, although the pandemic disrupted many marching band practices, football games, and band competitions, the lessons that the band learned have made them even stronger. Emalee Collins, sophomore, said, “Many of my friends also march, and we were all extremely upset last year when it was unknown if we would be able to march due to COVID. This year has shown me just how much I love [marching band]; from numerous practices to competitions in the cold, I love every minute of marching and wouldn’t trade it for anything.” Last year, the band had to social distance, shorten practices, and record temperatures at each practice which made the process even more difficult, especially for the new marchers. 

One of the greatest opportunities that being in marching band has to offer is the ability to be a leader. Every spring, before school lets out, the marching band hosts a leadership camp for any band member who may want to be in a leadership position. Emalee Collins, sophomore, said, “Leadership camp was super fun! Most of the camp was comprised of listening to community leaders give their advice and fun team-building games with other candidates. I really enjoyed it last year and can’t wait to do it again this year!”

One of the most important leaders in the band is the drum major. Maggie Early, who is a senior and the head drum major. She said, “Being drum major sometimes feels like being assistant to the regional manager. For the majority my responsibilities are making sure that everything is done for the band; it’s all about servant leadership.” Some of her other responsibilities include conducting the band through their show, as well as being the role model for the band itself. She said, “When conducting, it’s my job to illustrate to the band what exactly is going on in our music.” As a role model to the band, she is the first person everyone sees when the band enters a stadium. Maggie said, “You constantly have to maintain that poise because you are representing your band.”

The band will compete in their final competition of the season this Saturday, October 30, at Central High School in Carrollton in the AA category. The band will also participate in the Rome Christmas Parade this year and will hopefully be accompanying the football team to the playoffs.