Although this past year has limited The Pride’s ability to perform live, the marching band kicked off their 2021 football season at the Pride Preview in August. Since then, they have resumed performing, much to the delight of onlookers.
The Pride Marching Band made its first public performance as the Normal College Band on Oct. 2, 1922, during “Music Week”. This performance featured the band as the “Normal College Quartet”, but quickly grew into the expansive band we know it as today.
Whether performing in concert halls or at “The Rock” for halftime entertainment, The Pride’s performing ensembles are sure to make you feel like you are a part of the nearly century-long tradition.
“My favorite performance by The Pride is when they perform on the field with high school students for All South Band Day. I look forward to seeing this moment every year during every football season,” said Cherie Gully, a Southern Miss Alumnus.
Though The Pride is well known for their performances at every football game, they are involved with a number of other competitions and festivals throughout the year. The Pride has performed in various locations on both national and international levels.
Every member of The Pride plays a crucial role in completing the band’s overall sound and appearance. In addition to instruments, the Pride is accompanied by the Precision Dance Team, also known as the Dixie Darlings, baton twirlers, the Color Guard and, recently, even a dance line.
I spoke to a fellow member of The Pride, Dixie Darling Sydney Beech, who expressed her excitement to be back on the field this season in the wake of the COVID-19.
“It feels really good to be back. If performing for people is your gift, this past year made it really hard for us to be able to fulfill that ability. Being back on the field made me so much more grateful for my abilities,” said Beech.
The Dixie Darlings are just as well known and beloved as the iconic dance team for The University of Southern Mississippi. The Pride Marching Band features their Dixie Darlings in every performance, dedicating an entire song to their high kicking feature.
The Pride opens its arms to any individuals who may be interested in joining its tradition of excellence. Beech believes that being involved with Pride has allowed her to have a deeper connection with game day energy that the student body may not experience.
“Being a member of The Pride as a Dixie Darling has enriched my experience as a Golden Eagle,” said Beech.
And the fans, in turn, appreciate The Pride’s involvement in university festivities over the years. Their performances continue to give fans, students and alumni a sense of happiness every time that they make an appearance on the field.
“The Pride is clean and technical when it comes to the way they execute their formations on the field,” said Gully. For more information about The Pride of Mississippi’s Marching Band, make sure to follow them on Facebook.