NEWPORT—During the long, hot days of summer and the return to school, many high school students devote hours upon hours perfecting their athletic skills in preparation of taking to the football fields as players and cheerleaders.

So do members of high school bands, who proudly don the uniforms of their schools, attend camps devoted to the perfection of marching shows and put in endless hours of practice, both at home and at school, to present a perfect show.

Members of the Cocke County High School Red Regiment Band recently held band camp at the school where, under the guidance of Cameron Blair, director, Kathy Sotelo and Travis Hicks, assistant directors, and color guard instructors Ashlyn Neas McCaul and Hannah Palmer, they worked under a grueling hot sun to bring this year’s show together.

Cameron is a brass specialist, Sotelo oversees the woodwinds, and Hicks specializes in percussion.

As the new kid on the block, Hicks looks forward to his work with the local group. A Pennsylvania native, he accepted his first full-time position to work at CCHS. He earned his master’s degree at Lee University, where a professor told him about the job opening here.

Based on the Robert Frost poem, this year’s show, “The Road Less Traveled,” will bring together 72 band members marching and playing together in a time-honored tradition. Cameron came up with the concept of the show and arranged the music.

They will debut their show at the first CCHS home football game.

Channing Wright, drum major, and Mikayla Alley, assistant drum major, will lead the troops on the ground. Other student band leaders include Hannah Koster, percussion captain, and Cierra Bailey and Emma Talley, color guard co-captains.

In addition to entertaining the crowds at the football games, the band will also vie for honors at four competitions: Clinton, Tennessee High, John Battle, and Alcoa.

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