PHS Pride Makes History at Pearl State Evaluation


Photo courtesy Daniel Renfroe

PHS band representatives anticipate in silence as they wait for their scores to be announced at the Pearl Marching Evaluation.

Mississippi fall traditions run deep: from staying up late Friday nights to support favorite high school teams to engorging on warm, syrup-doused biscuits at the Mississippi State Fair, a Southern autumn is like no other. For band kids, fall means marching season, which also means long, sweaty practices after school and long, back-breaking weeks.

The PHS Marching Band concluded their fall season with a bang Saturday, October 12, as they entered the Pearl Pirate field for evaluation for the first time in over 20 years.

The MHSAA State Regional Marching Evaluation at Pearl was the band’s third competition for the year following the Brandon and Copiah Marching Competitions. Nerves were high the week of state evaluation; for years the band had been gearing up for this very moment.

The Pride of Pelahatchie kick-started its band program again a few years ago, and the band has undoubtedly come breathtakingly far in a short amount of years. The step from simply standing and playing on the field for halftime to performing an entire marching show in flashy red and white uniforms took incredible dedication and work from each individual.

The band departed Pelahatchie in the dark hours of the morning with immense pressure on their backs. They had not been to a state evaluation in well over two decades; they were about to make history.

The brisk morning air energized the band as they rushed onto the field to perform their last show at a competition for the year. For seniors, emotions were high as they realized this was the last competition with the PHS band family ever. 

“I am so proud of our band. We really made history Saturday,” Drum major and senior Syndi Goldman said.

“I am sad to leave this band, for we have all become a family. I’m excited to see what the future holds for the band. I’m happy that I’m able to say that I had my part in the band,” Goldman finished.

The band performed their show “Latin Fever” for one last time for judges Saturday, keeping their heads high despite the harsh wind. Gathered by the bus afterwards, relief rushing through all the members, the band performed one last prideful call to attention with Goldman, causing many seniors to shed tears.

After their performance, the band headed back to the stadium to watch the other shows by varying bands. The shows ranged from Richland’s extraterrestrial show with elegant space-themed flags and tunes to a full-blown colorful Día de los Muertos marching show by Mendenhall, filled with decoratively painted skulls blooming with flowers and festive holiday-inspired music.

Scores for all bands were called out to the absolute silent stadium after the last band performed, the PHS members holding their breaths. Drum major received a score of one, drumline received a two, color guard received a two, and the band received scores of two, two, two, for an overall score of two.

It’s truly hard to comprehend what the small band has accomplished in such a short amount of time. Tallying up consistent close-to-superior scores each competition, the band is sure to shine even brighter in the years to come.

The band is grateful that they can now relax as they begin gearing up for concert season. The band has many plans for the upcoming season as well, such as their annual Christmas concert, many band clinics, and the band concert evaluation at Ridgeland High School.

For band kids, it’s out with sweaty practices, and in with nerve-wracking playing tests!