Published 8:56 am Friday, September 1, 2017

During football season around the nation, you can find stadiums packed with fans cheering on their favorite teams and the marching bands that help keep up the excitement.

“Playing on Friday nights is awesome,” second-year Andalusia drum major Callen Woodard said. “It really is the best feeling ever. I can remember after the first show my freshman year. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in my life.”

This is Woodard’s fourth year marching in the band and her second year as the drum major.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s all worth it,” Woodard said. “I’ve been doing it for four years and have loved every minute. As the drum major, I’m in charge of a lot of different things. I’m kind of like Mr. (Benny) Shellhouse’s secretary. I make sure that everything is running smoothly so that he doesn’t have to.”

Woodard said that playing for the crowd and the team is amazing.

“You are out there cheering on your friends and your classmates,” Woodard said. “Since most of our students are either in the band, cheer or play football, we don’t really have a student section so that’s kind of what we are. We can even help out the team by playing so loud that the other team has a hard time getting their plays in. The whole atmosphere on Friday night is just so exciting.”

It takes lots of preparation for Friday night shows.

“There is so much that goes into it,” Woodard said. “It all starts with Mr. Shellhouse picking out our music. The drummers then come in and begin working around June. In late June, the color guard joins and it all starts to come together around mid-July when the band comes in. Then we start band camp and that is when we learn to march and learn the music. This year we got a little behind when Mr. Shellhouse’s father passed away, but we are catching up on everything now.”

Woodard said that the band has been a special part of her high school experience.

“My favorite part about band is that it doesn’t matter what you like, who you are or where you are from, there is something here for everyone,” Woodard said. “You don’t have to be friends with everyone in the band, but everyone there is that one thing (band) in common. It’s a really special place.”