Since 1928, the University of Mississippi’s Pride of the South Band has been entertaining halftime crowds in televised big-event games like the Sugar Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Peach Bowl, and the Cotton Bowl. But fans will get a more intimate performance at the upcoming 12th Annual Pride of the South Benefit Concert to be held at 7:30 PM, Tuesday, April 24, at the Gertrude Castellow Ford Center on the UM campus. The concert will benefite Friends of Note Band Scholarship Endowment. Free Admission.
The benefit concert first began in Jackson about 12 years ago and moved to the Oxford campus in 2007. Longtime Ole Miss Rebel fan Nancy Frohn came up with the idea to get involved and help create a scholarship endowment for qualified band students. The event has grown from a little more than 125 attendants and seven sponsors to nearly 1,000 attendees and 130 sponsors.
“We took a while to get the momentum going, and now the word is out and people love the band and what they do for our university,” Frohn says. “The concert bands are part of the band most fans are not aware of, and when people get a chance to hear them, most want to get involved.”
UM’s Director of Bands, David Willson, says he greatly appreciates Frohn’s contributions to the university’s band programs. “Nancy introduced herself to me about 13 years ago and said she wanted to get something going for the band,’ he says. “Many people approach with ideas, but few follow through. Nancy is a doer. Her efforts are making a difference to a lot of students, and she is doing a great service to students, mentoring them on how to give back.”
Willson is presently wrapping up his 22nd year at UM, and the band has doubled in size during this time. He give credit to all UM supporters who offer the students positive feedback and let them know that their efforts are recognized in a positive way.
“Our students work hard and put in a lot of time for years before they get to the university,” he notes. “When people support these students, they feel good about their experience and stay with us.” Consisting of 50 to 60 performers, the Wind Ensemble performs the very highest level of wind band literature. The Wind Ensemble consists of graduate students, music majors and non-majors and annually tours throughout the mid-south.
Dr. Micah Everett will be featured on “Carnival of Venice”, a crowd favorite. Everett is a Pearl, Mississippi native and is in his first year as the Low Brass teacher at UM. In addition to the marching band, there are several “pep bands” formed out of the Pride of the South. These pep bands perform for numerous functions such as pep rallies before each home game. Another extension of the Ole Miss Band is the Ole Miss Basketball band. The basketball band supports both the Rebel and Lady Rebel basketball teams at all home games after football season, as well as traveling to the SEC and NCAA tournaments annually.
The Ole Miss Band is comprised of students from diverse courses of study such as Pre-Med, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Political Science, Journalism and countless others. The program offers competitive scholarships for students of every major in the university.
Tuesday’s concert is free and open to the public. Everyone is invited to attend the reception before the concert at 7:15 P.M. in the foyer of the Ford Center. There will be another reception at the end of the concert so that attendees may meet the performers. Anyone who wishes to make a donation can call the University Band Office at 915-7390 or the University Foundation at 662-915-5944.