TSU band heads to Corn Crib

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Staff Writer

At midnight, the Troy State University South of the South will be on the trip of a lifetime.

The 261-member marching band will have the opportunity to perform before 80,000 University of Nebraska fans when TSU takes on the Cornhuskers Saturday for the introduction into Division I-A football.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

But, traveling to what band director Ralph Ford calls the "game of the century" would not have been possible without an anonymous donation. Without that pledge to help out with the costs ­ which will be between $60,000 and $65,000 ­ only the TSU Pep Band’s 35 members would have been able to make the 21-hour road trip.

"We’re honored and thrilled an anonymous donor, TSU Athletics and the TSU Foundation thought we were an integral part of the Nebraska game," Ford said.

"That caused us to have to switch gears, but it was pleasant to have to."

When asked if the band members are excited about the opportunity to travel to Lincoln, Neb., Ford said, "oh, yeah!"

They may not be all that thrilled to load the bus at midnight, travel to St. Joseph, Neb., which is about three hours south of Lincoln for some sleep and hit the road again at 5 a.m. for an 8 a.m. arrival at the Corn Crib.

Ford said the band will be tuning up for a pre-game practice and will dress from 9:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. on the bus for the big game.

At 10 a.m., TSU Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. will join the band and participate in the Medallion Ceremony during which new band members receive the symbol that makes them an official member of the South of the South.

After that, the band will head over to the TSU tent to "blast a few tunes," for Trojans’ fans, Ford said.

The band may only have a matter of minutes on the field, but Ford said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Odds may not have the Trojans in favor, but Cornhusker fans may be surprised because Ford would gladly put his band up against any other in the nation, including Nebraska.