It was a special night when we caught up with the Pride of East Ridge. Their home grandstand condemned, they were opening their home football slate on the road, hosting Signal Mountain at the Baylor School.
Dressed in fedoras and sunglasses, the group was ready to thrill all in attendance with their Blues Brothers show. Band Director Perry Vandergriff, a University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland alum, says the highlight is Minnie the Moocher featuring a solo from tenor sax played by a student dressed as Cab Calloway! Oh, it gets even better. He is joined by a member of the color guard and, you guessed it, she is dressed as Minnie.
When the how is at full strength, Jake and Elwood will even pull trailers out onto the field in the Bluesmobile. Look for that in October.
The band goes everywhere the football team goes. So, Perry says, when the team is on the road, so is the Pride. If you would like to help out, get in touch with him at the band room. September is coffee month! Quickly find a student and ask to see the 'choice blend' flier to place an order. Then, be looking for a new fund-raiser every month.
Soon, it will be time for their annual Christmas concert. They split the ticket take on that show with the East Ridge needy child fund. Then, look for the Jazz Band Dinner. It is a wonderful night of food and music they host every year. For more information, call: (423) 867-6200 ext. 331
Mr. Vandergriff says he is blessed this year with strong musicians and awesome human beings. They have already dealt with some strange and stressful times, this year. This summer, campus was shut down for a week while electrical panels were changed out, and now the home stadium controversy. Thankfully, that seems to be resolved with some temporary seating, for the time being. He says the students gladly put their collective head to the grindstone and and did what had to be done.
Only for seniors in the band, this year, so look for them to be great for years to come. Thanks to the Pride of East Ridge for being our Channel 3 Eyewitness News Friday Night Football Band of the Week!