The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and the Dixie Darlings will kick off the 2023 football season with Pride Preview Friday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Southern Station behind the Thad Cochran Center on the Hattiesburg campus. The concert is free and open to the public.
Under the direction of Dr. Travis Higa, the event is the traditional opening to Golden Eagle football season. The Pride will be playing their traditional pre-game show and a special preview performance of their first halftime show.
“These students have worked incredibly hard to prepare multiple shows under extreme weather conditions,” said Higa. “Students in The Pride of Mississippi are dedicated Golden Eagles and one of the best representations of the university.”
The public is invited to bring lawn chairs. No staked tents are permitted; no vehicles are permitted; and no smoking or chewing tobacco is permitted on campus.
In case of extreme weather conditions, the event will be cancelled.
Regarded as one of the nation’s finest university marching bands, The Pride has performed in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Green Bay, Wis., and throughout Mississippi for competitive band contests, festivals and professional football games, and an international performance in Ireland for the Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.
Since the band’s founding in 1920 as a 20-piece brass ensemble, The Pride of Mississippi has evolved into an impressive and highly respected marching band of more than 300 members. Having marched for such events as one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s inaugural parades, the Chicago World’s Fair, Senior Bowl Classic football games, Blue-Gray football games and professional football games, The Pride was one of the most televised marching bands in the South during the 1970s and 1980s.
Unlike most bands of previous days, The Pride was not limited to a common instrumentation of brasses and woodwinds. In the 1950s, the band was accompanied by a bagpipe ensemble along with the Southern Belles dance/drill team, then later the Dixie Darlings.