Mississippi College

Mississippi College Choctaws Band Marches On

September 7, 2009

Mississippi College's band will march at Choctaws football games this season for the first time since 2003.

"It feels awesome to be marching," said MC sophomore Mindy Ansley, 19, who really loved her days with the award-winning Pearl High Pirates Marching Band. "This feels more like in high school - like a real band," she said during a practice session Friday on a vacant field across from the Baptist Healthplex.

Ansley plays flute and piccolo with the MC band. The group makes its first marching appearance in at least six years at Saturday's Backyard Brawl. MC won the thrilling contest 47-44 over Millsaps in two overtimes. Having the band marching added to the electric atmosphere for the home team.

Starting his 11th season at MC, Director of Bands Craig Young recalled the university fielded a marching band during his first few years. But the dwindling number of student members and the lack of a diverse group of instruments led MC to pull the plug on the marching band at football games. Smaller numbers did march in MC Homecoming parades over the years.

Trumpet player Jake Long, 22, of Meadville, said he loved playing in the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Marching Band. The biology medical sciences major is delighted the MC band will be marching for his senior year on the Clinton campus.

During Saturday's game and the Sept. 12 home contests against Cumberlands of Kentucky, the MC band will perform a half-time show. They will play familiar tunes like "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Rodeo" to get the crowd fired up Saturday night during the long Labor Day weekend.

"This will be just like my band at South Jones High," said MC junior Doris Bynum, 20, of Ellisville. She plays the saxophone for the MC band.

Young said a marching band adds "excitement and atmosphere" to MC football games at Robinson-Hale Stadium. "We are ready for it."

The 37 Mississippi College students making beautiful sounds in the marching band are among the 60 or so who are members of various MC bands. The other musical groups range from a jazz ensemble to one that plays mostly symphonic music.

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