Former band members start new tradition

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 1, 2010

An old tradition will become part of a new homecoming tradition at Andalusia High School tonight when former members of “A Sound Tradition,” come together to form an alumni band.

Organizer Clark Wilson said he’s hoping 50 to 75 former members will turn out for this inaugural event.

“Homecoming is always about going back, and for so many folks this gives an attractive incentive to come,” he said. “They have a lot of fond memories from their days at AHS playing in the band, with this it makes it possible to go back a few moments.

“I’ve talked to people from the class of 1970 all the way up through 2007, who are interested in coming,” he said.

Wilson said forming an alumni band is something he and band director Bennie Shellhouse have been discussing for about three years.

“We’ve been talking about this for about three years,” he said. “I went back and talked to some of the band classes about the benefits the band has.”

Wilson said the alumni band will provide a fun night for those who participate.

The band’s performance will include “Men of Andy,” and a trilogy of tunes arranged by former band director Jim Nettles, just to name a few.

Alumni members Ken Wilson, Bobby Pollock, Clark Wilson, Henry Jones, Bobby Pollock and Gail McInnish practice before the start of the official Thursday band practice. Alumni band members are invited to participate in tonight’s homecoming halftime show.

“When Jim Nettles passed away (earlier this year), there was a memorial service where his music was played, but this will be a time for members to play his music,” Wilson said.

The group held a practice session Thursday night, but Wilson said even if alumni were not able to attend the session, they are still welcome to be a part of the show.

“I have talked to a number of people from Atlanta to Birmingham, who (couldn’t) come Thursday night, but will be there tonight,” he said.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m probably from the oldest class that is going to be playing. It’s been 40 years since I’ve seen these band members. We’re all excited about the opportunity.”