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Flowery Branch band members ‘stoked’ over day in spotlight

Musicians bask in football team’s glory during state run

POSTED: December 21, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Flowery Branch cheerleader highlights

Highlights from Flowery Branch High cheerleading. Video by Flowery Branch broadcasting students.

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Scott Rogers/The Times

Flowery Branch High students cheer Friday during the school's pep rally for the Falcons' state championship game today against Cairo in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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"Stoked" is how Flowery Branch High School senior and band pit captain Caitlin White describes her feelings about performing in the Georgia Dome tonight.

As the Flowery Branch football team has traveled around the state to win 12 out of 14 games this fall, including four straight state playoff games, all 91 members of the school’s marching band have been in tow.

Tonight, the band will get to experience the glory of performing in the halftime show at the state championship game, with a number planned that will rock the fans in the stands ’50s style.

Band director David Wiebers said the show will feature the music of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Jerry Lee Lewis in their production of "The Fabulous Fifties."

Wiebers said the band students are celebrating their trip to the state title game almost as if they’re running the ball and kicking field goals themselves.

"To make it this far this time, it’s a big deal, especially for the seniors," he said. "When the school first opened, we were lucky to get one win, sometimes even just one point. It’s amazing how far we’ve come since that time."

The Falcons finished 0-10 in their first football season in 2002, just six years ago.

Tyler Ellis, a Flowery Branch senior and marching band drum major, said it’s not only the scoreboard that’s made this football season great.

He said the spirit of cooperation between the football team, cheerleaders and band has created a phenomenal sense of school unity.

"We have the best student section. Our cheerleaders are awesome this year," Ellis said. "Between us, the cheerleaders and the student section, the stadium has been crazy all year long."

"The student section has started demanding we do cadences because everybody loves to dance," White said of the drum line’s punchy rhythmic solos.

While the excitement overwhelms each musician, White said she’s also a little nervous about tonight’s big performance.

"I’m nervous because we’re going to be on TV. ... It’s so nerve-racking to not mess up," she said.

Wiebers said this group of students rose to the demands of the postseason.

"I’m going to be sad when the season’s all over," White said. "It’s our last year. Marching band is an experience you never forget. It’s like a whole other family."

But Wiebers said performances aren’t quite yet over for senior band students. Starting Monday, he’s preparing for symphonic band, where students don’t march but focus on perfecting music scores.

And in January, Wiebers said nearly all of the marching band will pack up to take a trip to Washington, D.C., to take part in the historic Barack Obama presidential inauguration and see marching bands from across the nation perform in the inaugural parade.



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