The Pride of Alexander City Wildcat Marching Band will present a range of music this year at football halftime shows thanks to the emotions of Benjamin Russell band director Dale Bloodworth.
Bloodworth wrote a composition from “Rewrite the Stars” from “The Greatest Showman,” “To Boldly Go” and “Enterprising Young Man” from “Star Trek,” “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran and Southern Rock classic “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.” He said it’s hard to believe this is a first for him in 25 years of teaching music, 22 of which have been at Benjamin Russell.
“It is hard to think I have written 22 halftime shows,” Bloodworth said. “This year my staff is telling me it’s about my kids leaving the house. I was teaching my own kid for 10 years. It’s OK to move on. I am learning to relax, open up and build relationships.”
Bloodworth said his relationships with his staff help teach the students.
“The staff has been together for several years,” Bloodworth said. “Everything seems to click. We try to be good examples for them.”
The band is about one dozen members smaller this year than in years past but it doesn’t bother Bloodworth.
“They are fundamentally sound,” Bloodworth said. “These kids love each other. It is a ridiculously diverse group. We have computer nerds, jocks, whites and blacks. It’s a cool dynamic. They are a wonderful group of kids.”
With the smaller group, Bloodworth says the upperclassmen are taking care of eighth-graders coming over from Alex City Middle School learning what band is all about.
“The older kids are much more nurturing and emphatic,” Bloodworth said. “The young students learn leadership and come to high school ready to serve.”
Some might question the music choice and how it fits together, but Bloodworth said it does make sense.
“Most of it is their music,” Bloodworth said. “They listen to it and hear it all the time. The other parts of it, they are attached to it because it is music of the region.”
Bloodworth is looking forward to what his band will do come its first performance at halftime when Benjamin Russell travels to Beauregard Aug. 23.
“We are playing well together now,” Bloodworth said. “The kids are working hard and we are getting better every day.”