The Pride of the Southland Entertains Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The sounds of “Rocky Top” and other fan favorites filled the air in downtown Chattanooga on Thursday.
The Pride of the Southland marching band, representing the University of Tennessee, stopped at AT&T Field to perform a free concert for area Vol fans as the band makes their way to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for this weekend’s football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Louisiana State Tigers.
The 365 students who make up the band entertained the hundreds of Tennessee fans, alumni, and parents with performances of their world renown pregame sequence, Circle Drill, and other traditions and halftime shows that the band is performing this year.
The last time the Pride of the Southland stopped in Chattanooga for a performance was in 2019.
Dr. Michael Stewart, is in his first year as the head director for the Pride of the Southland Band after being an assistant director since 2007. After the challenges of the COVID pandemic which forced the Pride to not march on the field in 2020 (they still played in the stands), he is excited to see return to its pre-pandemic power.
On his first year as head director, Dr. Stewart said that, “This band has had a great tradition for decades. For me, it’s a matter of continuing that. also it’s building forward, looking for the next traditions for the Pride of the Southland band. Always constantly working on innovation, but remembering our past and continuing those traditions that make the Pride such an integral part of a game day in Neyland Stadium. For me, it’s still as exciting as the first day as I was here. I still love watching that T open, hearing Rocky Top. Everyday in Neyland is still special to me.”
He said of his students that, “The students have done everything we’ve asked. We’re typically amongst the first in the stadium and then the last to leave.And for those four plus hours, we are the soundtrack of Neyland Stadium. Our goal is to keep the crowd is into it, keep the team into it, and during that time we give our all for Tennessee. We support the team all we can.”
The Pride of the Southland is also going international next year! They will be traveling to London to march in London Band Week as part of the Royal Performance Tour.