Braves’ home opener will feature Southern Pride

Photo by: Lindsay Hartmann

William Peebles

Georgia Southern University’s marching band, Southern Pride, will perform live at Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves’ Opening Night Monday at 7.

The Braves’ ticket office contacted Southern Pride’s director Colin McKenzie earlier this week about performing.

“There’s an alumni who works for the Braves, and the ticket office called and they invited us to come and do it. We’ve been working together since then to find out what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” McKenzie said.

Southern Pride will perform songs from various shows the group has performed this year, as well as a few GSU specific songs.

“We’re going to do a couple of songs from our Motown show because we thought they’d have a broad appeal. We’re playing ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ to fit the time window, and if we have time we’re doing a couple of Georgia Southern specific tunes, like our fight song,” McKenzie said.

The group will perform on Turner Field before the game. Tickets to the game will also be provided to the members of Southern Pride.

“We’re doing the whole performance on the field, then we’re forming a tunnel, and when they introduce the team for the first time, the players will run through the tunnel.  The Braves have provided us tickets to the game. It’s going to be neat to be there for opening day,” McKenzie said.

The band will leave Statesboro Monday morning and travel to Atlanta.

“We’re going to leave pretty much before the sun rises, like five a.m. We’re going to be performing for a couple of high schools too,” Dylan Kennedy, freshman pre-law major, said.

In addition to performing at Turner Field, McKenzie has arranged public performances for Atlanta-area high schools.

“We’re going to try to put together a couple of performances for high schools in the Atlanta area that afternoon. We’re trying to set up a performance at the Lenox mall area, or something like that. We’ll publicize it in the Atlanta area to let people know we’re going to be there, to come out and hear us, and also for recruitment purposes,” said McKenzie.

The group is excited about the opportunity to play.

Anthony Alberti, junior music education major, said, “It’s the Braves, and it’s free! We’re going up to practice, and then we’ll play at seven. It’s going to be a great experience.”