CRESTVIEW — A once-in-a-lifetime experience on the field of Jack Foster Stadium Friday night left an impression on Crestview High School student Jacob Anderson.
See CHS alumni perform with the Big Red Machine>>
See photos from the alumni performance event>>
There, Big Red Machine members performed and later visited with their forerunners.
"I'm speechless, really," Jacob, a trumpeter, said. "It was such a great feeling out there with all the alumni."
Generations of Crestview High School band members mingled on the field before and after the newly formed Alumni Band joined the Big Red Machine for the first time.
Organizers said more than 420 musicians and color guardsmen performed to music from throughout the band’s history, starting with Henry Mancini's driving theme song to "Peter Gunn" and concluding with "The James Bond Theme.”
"It's neat for me 'cause my son's in the band so we'll be able to experience something together," Craig Shaw said, noting his son, Nathan, holds the same drum line section leader position this year that he held in 1977.
About 100 alumni turned out for Thursday night’s rehearsal with the current high school band, and even more turned out Friday night, Graham Fountain, one of the alumni band's organizers, said.
During the performance, Jeanette Cramer, Nellie Fleming, Lamar Garrett, Helen Parkton, Claudia Patten and Betty Thigpen, members of the 1938 Okaloosa County School Band, which evolved into the Big Red Machine, were introduced to the cheering audience.
"We're having so much fun," 1983 color guard captain Carolyn Smith said. "It makes you feel young again."
Crestview Mayor David Cadle, the band’s former director, mounted the conductor's platform and led the massed band in the school fight song as the performance finale.
"That felt good!" Cadle said.
"You haven't lost your touch," Crestview High Principal Bob Jones said to Cadle, who had brought the band to national prominence with many televised appearances.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.