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Bands preparing for '05 season

By By JULIE RUSSELL
The Brewton Standard
Anyone who has ever been a part of a team knows the hard work that it takes – from working well with others to honing skills in your free time. Many students first learn those lessons when they experience the myriad of responsibilities that come with being in a high school band.
Students at W.S. Neal and T.R. Miller high schools put in many hours of arduous practice hours in preparation for the upcoming football season.
Monday through Thursday of last week, students of the T.R. Miller High School Band dusted off their instruments and woke up extra early to practice their music and steps for nearly five grueling hours.
This week, the band members are practicing 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.
Band director Carl Major agrees band members learn discipline, above all.
Major has taught band at T.R. Miller for five years. He says that during his time there, he's learned to be flexible, and to adjust his teaching style to fit different needs.
Most students enjoy being in the band because they have a passion for music.
T.R. Miller trumpet player Brandon Chambers said, "I like playing music. I've learned how to read music better. My favorite song that we're playing this year is 'Ain't No Mountain'."
Other students enjoy the camaraderie they experience with their fellow band members.
The band is currently practicing four songs - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Carry On My Wayward Son," "Mr. Roboto" and "Dream On". Their hard work leads up to the first football game halftime show August 26.
The W.S. Neal band camp practiced every day last week from 8-11:30 a.m., 1:30-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. This week, they will practice six days a week from 6-9 p.m..
They have a Paul Simon show lined up for this year with three of the songwriter's most well-known songs - "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Late In the Evening" and "You Can Call Me Al".
Band director Kimberly Waller said one of the most exciting parts of being in the band, for students, is that they get exposed to music that they "probably wouldn't listen to on their own."
For example, trumpet player Maggie Crutchfield originally thought Paul Simon was "old music," but she grew to love him.
Waller also enforced the fact that band requires a lot of responsibility.
Bobbie Rush, worker at the T.R. Miller concession stand, admires the band directors at both schools for teaching their students so many valuable lessons.
Both bands will be supporting their individual teams at each football game this season.