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Meet Pride of the Mountains

In 2019, Pride of the Mountains was one of the only bands in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade history to perform twice in 5 years. Their journey to this incredible day started a year previously, as students started preparing for the Parade.

Marching band plays in the stands.

Saturdays are for the Band

For the Pride of the Mountains, a game day begins before most college students are even out of the bed. On a chilly Saturday morning, the band spends hours preparing for the intricacies of a college football game.  

Marching Band student Dakota Groves

Dakota Groves

Drumming Up Success - How one student's passion for the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band led to his success both in and out of the classroom.  

Keely Thomas directs the band.

Leading with a Purpose

Keely Thomas is a senior double major in forensic science and chemistry, with a minor in forensic anthropology. She is also in the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program where outstanding students can earn both a B.S and a M.S in an accelerated timeframe.   

WCU Student Brandon Rice

Electric violinist brings a different “swagger” to the Pride of the Mountains

Brandon Rice came to Western Carolina University last winter from Irmo, South Carolina to audition for the School of Music. During his audition, he noticed there was an informational meeting about the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band.  

Izzy shows support for her friend.

Feeling the Beat

During her freshman year in high school in 2013, after playing several sports, Peterson tried out for the color guard. “No one really thought I could be graceful, so I was like, ‘I’m going to be graceful,’ ” she said. I did not know what I was getting myself into.” Peterson said. In the summer of 2013, Peterson went to the POTM Summer Symposium and learned from Megan Lloyd and Scott Beck. That fall, Peterson watched the POTM perform at Enka High School.  

Drum major bows to crowd.

On the Road

As 535 of Western Carolina University’s students descended upon the stadium in Enka, North Carolina, so did the thunderstorms. While the weather may have prevented their afternoon show, the students of the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band didn’t let that affect the energy they brought to close out the night. For years they have taken their show on the road to entertain high school bands from across the region.  

Skyler plays instrument.

Practice Makes Perfect

For the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band, practice starts well before the first football game. While preparing for the debut of their percussion feature in this years’ show “Believe,” these students show just how much practice makes perfect.  

Band members on the field

Inspiring Others to Believe

With Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band performing in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, it seems only fitting that its football halftime show for the upcoming season tie in with that honor.  

Amanda Muse

Amanda Muse

Amanda Muse is one of very few female snare drum players who perform at the highest levels of marching band. After overcoming stereotypes and physical challenges, Amanda uses her talent to inspire a new generation of musicians.  

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