Putting pep in Etowah’s step

Alyssa Pearson

More stories from Alyssa Pearson

Halfway there
January 26, 2022

The sound of drums beating fills the air as students walk into Etowah on a Friday morning. Trumpets break the usual morning silence. The music gradually increases the closer students walk to the courtyard. Excitement buzzes throughout the hallways. It is game day.  

“I enjoy it when they [band] play in the morning because they sound good and everyone gathers to watch them,” Walt Centers, sophomore, said. 

The pep band performance on Friday mornings begins a new tradition at Etowah. Stephen Long, band director, and his student leaders believed that it would be a great addition for the school.  

“My leaders and I thought it would be a good way to add more fun and interest to the school day without having to miss any class time,” Long said. 

The band students who perform are volunteers. Performing on Friday mornings is not mandatory for students, but it shows their dedication. Typically, the band practices eight hours each week, so they are adding more to their schedules by performing in the mornings. 

“We put a lot of effort because we practice almost three times a week, and we have Friday night games,” Ryan Loftand, freshman tuba player, said. 

The band performs to get students excited for the night’s home game. Crowd interaction is a big part of the band’s performances. 

“We love when the crowd cheers and claps for soloists and moments they find enjoyable,” Long said. 

The pep band performs every home game Friday morning at 7:50 a.m. in the courtyard, playing rowdy and proud for the Big Blue.