Keep your seats ladies and gentlemen: The Mighty Sound of the Southeast has new look, sound
The big sound of a marching band just seems to go with the college football game experience like no other.
So, when University of South Carolina fans kept asking for the Mighty Sound of the Southeast to “step it up,” Rebecca Phillips, director of marching bands did her best to deliver that and then some.
Beginning with the first game of the 2011 season, the USC marching band is louder and stronger. In a historic move, Phillips added 11 players to the ranks of the sousaphones for a total of 28 of the low-brass members of the tuba family that bring real heft to the band, which has 32 new members this year for a total of 280.
“It allows us to have more bass sound and that will allow us to have more volume,” Phillips said. “We were able to immediately enlarge the brass section, mainly through recruiting.”
And that’s just the beginning. Fuggedabout the same ol’, same ol’ halftime show. Now, at every home game, fans will see a brand new show.
“The changes we’ve had to the band are really beneficial to us,” said Josh Clark, senior band member. “We’ve done a lot of things that are unique to the university. Our new show – I’m not going to give out any secrets yet – but it’s a lot more in-sync with our university.”
Phillips said shows will range from classic American rock to Latin band music with guest trumpeter Al Vizzuti. The changes are putting the pressure on, but the students love the challenge.
“Smart kids get bored easily working on the same three or four tunes for weeks at time,” Phillips said. “They’re looking for something fresh and this is what college bands do. Nationally televised bands do something new every week, and they’re excited to be a part of that club.”
And for the annual rivalry matchup against Clemson, there will be something outrageous at the half, but Phillips isn’t revealing any secrets.
“The USC marching band is thrilled to be there for the fans,” she said. “It’s going to be a great year for the team and the band.”
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