Pauls Valley Democrat
The sounds of music will soon fill the air here as a couple of now familiar events are again marching into Pauls Valley.
One is yet another special visit to Panther country by the University of Oklahoma marching band as it makes its way down to Dallas, Texas for the annual gridiron clash between the OU and Texas football teams.
Quickly following right behind that is the fourth version of a high school marching band contest filling Pauls Valley’s downtown streets and football stadium.
First up is the OU marching band set to make another stop in Pauls Valley; this one on Friday, Oct. 11.
It’s the third visit to PV by the Sooner band in the past seven football seasons.
The first was back in 2007, while the second came three years later in 2010.
Like the previous two times this next one will allow the public to come out to the PV football stadium to watch the OU band practice its pre-game and halftime routines the day before it does it for real at the Cotton Bowl when Oklahoma and Texas again match up in what’s known as the Red River Rivalry.
“This is not only a great community event but a very exciting experience for the students in our schools and surrounding towns,” said PV band director Drew Etheredge.
“It definitely makes a big difference from the students’ standpoint,” he said. “It means a lot for these kids to get this opportunity.”
Right now it’s expected the OU band will take the Pauls Valley field in Wacker Park around 9:30 a.m. on the day of its visit. The public performance should go until about 11:30 a.m.
For Etheredge personally it’s a big deal since he is a former member of the Sooner band having marched with the OU group from 1999 to 2003.
It’s also a big deal for the public to get in for free and check out for themselves the OU band, he adds.
“I invite the public to come out and watch their performance,” Etheredge said. “There’s no admission for this.”
It’s also expected to again draw in band members from schools all over the region to watch at the Panther field.
The event is a homecoming of sorts for a group of current Sooner band members who know the PV area very well.
Currently in the band are former Pauls Valley students Caleb Wood and Tristin Tracy and former Elmore City-Pernell students Noah Schmidt and Colton Herrod.
After the performance members of the OU band will be treated to lunch at the Reynolds Recreation Center.
From there the band will continues its tradition of stopping later that night at a north Texas high school, where it will perform its halftime routine at an actual high school football game.
Etheredge describes the two stops every year as a good chance for the band to practice its routines and at the same time do a little recruiting of high school band members in both states.
“It’s a big recruiting thing for them,” he said.
Editor’s Note: More on the Pauls Valley Marching Band Championships will come later in the PV Democrat.