OU 24, UAB 17

The 2006 season got off to the right start, if not a barn-burning one, as our Sooners defated the Blazers from the University of Alabama-Birmingham 24-17 at Owen Field, in a game televised nationally on TBS.

The Pride of Oklahoma put 31 pages of drill on the field, a remarkable feat for a band that met for the first time just 16 days before halftime (first rehearsal was 7:30 PM on August 17). In a “something for everyone” show, the Pride performed a new medley of Queen songs (mostly featuring Bohemian Rhapsody), the Sheryl Crow song Real Gone from this summer’s Disney/Pixar blockbuster Cars, and an updated version of George and Ira Gershwin’s Strike Up the Band, all arranged by Dr. Roland Barrett. (The Strike Up the Band arrangement is substantially similar to Roland’s arrangement for the 1986 or 1987 Pride, for people with long memories, but I don’t think it’s been heard since then.)

Before the game, in addition to the normal Boomer Bash, pre-game concert, and parade to the stadium, a small pep band played at the unveiling of the new statue of Steve Owens in Heisman Trophy Park, just east of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. (If you see TV coverage of it, look for Pride director and alum Brian Britt providing the drumroll himself!) Check out this picture to see Steve Owens with the pep band!

The official Pride Web site already has pictures from the UAB game online for you to view and enjoy. Counting from the top of page 1, picture #13 and #14 are of Chauvin Aaron, leader of the Pride’s “running band” as featured in The Oklahoman on gameday. The Oklahoman’s pictures aren’t online, but the story is – read it if you haven’t had the chance.

Up next: OU hosts the Washington Huskies this Saturday, September 9, at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Our calendar has official performance times. The show will be the same as last week, but played to the east (“away”) side. KOCO-DT has confirmed that both this game and next week’s OU-Oregon game will be broadcast in HDTV! As far as we know, this will be the first football game broadcast from Owen Field in HDTV, and it makes a huge difference – at the 2004 Big 12 Championship, the HDTV audio was so clear that you could hear drum major Kyle Wiemar counting off the rah-rahs! If you have HDTV capability, be sure to use it for these games, and go Sooners!