As the sun set on E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field last Thursday, the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band rehearsed in front of an excited crowd of students, parents, alumni and friends at their end-of-camp celebration. Hundreds of spectators showed up to support the band as they previewed their 2022 production, "Let It Burn."
What some might not know is that students began showing up to campus weeks earlier than their peers just so they could get a head start on their season. Leaders, first-year students and veterans staggered their arrival into Cullowhee before spending a week on campus putting in long hours of rehearsal. Those long hours paid off as students unveiled the opener for their 2022 halftime show that is sure to turn heads.
The end of camp celebration is a new tradition started by Jack Eaddy Jr., director of athletic bands and the energy in the stadium was electric as students jumped at the opportunity to show off what they have learned so far. The Pride of the Mountains is known to feed off the energy of their crowd and this preseason event was no different.
"Seeing everyone's faces in the audience ranging from new parents, alumni members and just fans of POTM in general brought up our energy level." - Brandon Rice
The band will have plenty of opportunities to show off this year as they perform at home football games and local marching band competitions. The icing on the cake, though, will be their performances in front of thousands of high school students from across the country at the annual Bands of America grand finals in Indianapolis, Indiana.
"We look forward to connecting with students and band directors across the country. This is a tremendous opportunity to display POTM's excellence and inspire future college band members." - Dr. Jack Eaddy, Jr.
While there is a lot of work yet to be done, one thing is certain. The Pride of the Mountains Marching Band will continue to bring the entertainment and excellence that Catamount fans look forward to every year.