fbpx vie magazine subscribe button

The Sound and Motion of SPIRIT!

By Dave Vardaman | Photography by Dave Shelikoff 

Intermission is over. The shine of brass moves away, the glitz of uniforms slows, and the swoosh of the flags and batons moving in unison has been replaced by a still calm as the nearly three hundred marchers usher themselves en masse from the playing field that serves as the center of attention. In their place, athletes prepare to reengage in sport.

In this changing of the guard, one would expect a reduction in energy and a crowd that bides its time until the restart of the athletic competition, but not the Niceville High student section. There is an explosive crescendo building ... the drumline is on the way. From their staging area behind the goalpost, the percussionists begin to assemble. With the initial strike of cadence on a snare drum—signaling the “army” to march forward—the six-hundred-plus revelers in the student section begin to shudder like a pot of water on the stove about to reach its boiling point.

vie magazine the sound and motion of spirit drumline Niceville high schoool
The drumline enjoys the frenzy they create

With the arrival of the drumline in front of the student section, the link between spectator and performer is complete. The drumline begins with a steady beat that makes the audience bounce with excitement. As the beat accelerates, the audience plays its part as each spectator wraps arms across classmates’ shoulders, swaying forward and back while yelling a rhythmic “hooo-hooo.”  First, you hear it from the student section, then you hear the rest of the marching band from its station roughly fifty yards away. If you didn’t know better, you would think you were in a persistent echo chamber. Finally, at the jam session’s crowning moment, a simultaneous eruption of Silly String from hundreds of students climaxes the event. It is a sight to behold.

While this ritual seems as if it might have been passed down from generation to generation, it is actually fairly new. So new, in fact, this year’s graduating class didn’t have this performance when they began high school. It started as an idea in 2008 between an energetic leadership teacher and an enthusiastic band director to help increase school spirit and involvement of the full student body. In a short period of time, it has evolved into an event that literally binds the whole school. When six hundred fans in the student section combine with nearly three hundred members of the marching band and they are simultaneously roaring their school spirit toward roughly one hundred classmates on the field, you’re witnessing a thousand energetic youth sharing the common goal of supporting one another. Impressive as this display is, how the school makes it work is just as interesting.

vie magazine the sound and motion of spirit drumline Niceville high schoool
vie magazine the sound and motion of spirit drumline Niceville high schoool

vie magazine the sound and motion of spirit drumline Niceville high schoool  

The effort is run almost solely by the students as they make all the moving parts come together. From the fight song cheers to dance movements to musical selections and even crowd control, they create a performance unlike any seen at a high school sporting event. Lastly, the performance is a superb lesson in how the effort of a small group of dedicated people, including students and teachers, can create a greater good for the entire community.

Four years ago on a football Friday night in Niceville, you would have seen a normal high school game not unlike hundreds of others played across the country. Today, however, you are part of an experience that words and pictures can only attempt to capture—the sound and motion of SPIRIT.

— V —

Read Responsibly

VIE Magazine - The Art & Design Issue November 2021
VIE Magazine January 2021 Special Commemorative Edition
VIE Magazine September 2020 Wanderlust Issue, Fancy Camps, The Idea Boutique
VIE Magazine August 2020 Art & Culture Issue, Nathan Alan Yoakum Art
VIE Magazine - Architecture & Design Issue - July 2020
VIE Magazine - Decor and Home Issue - June 2020
VIE Magazine May 2020 Entertainment Issue, Leslie Odom Jr
VIE Magazine - April 2020 Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine March 2020 The Fashion Edit, VONDOM, Alys Beach Fl, Digital Graffiti, Tres Chic, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors, Digital Graffiti Festival
VIE Magazine February 2020 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Travel Issue - January 2020 - Tanzania Safari Cover
VIE Magazine - Women's Issue - December 2019 - Tina Brown Cover
VIE NOV19 Goodness Issue
VIE Magazine, September 2019 Art & Culture Issue, Paul Hanninen
VIE Magazine - August 2019 - The Architecture and Design Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2019 - The Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - June 2019 - Fashion Edit
VIE Magazine - May 2019 - Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine - April 2019 - The Health & Wellness Issue
VIE Magazine - Special Entertainment Edition - March 2019
VIE Magazine February 2019 Luxury Homes & Technology Issue with Robbie Antonio of Revolution Precrafted
VIE Magazine - January 2019 - Southern Sophisticate Issue Cover
VIE Magazine - Special Anniversary Travel Edition - December 2018
VIE Magazine - The Goodness Issue - November 2018
VIE Magazine - The Art & Culture Issue - October 2018
VIE Magazine - Home & Garden Issue - September 2018
VIE Magazine - August 2018 Animal Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2018 Architecture & Design Issue - Subscribe to the magazine!
VIE Magazine - June 2018 Travel & Tech Issue
VIE Magazine - May 2018 Couture Issue
VIE Magazine - The Culinary Issue - April 2018 Cover - Chef James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
VIE Magazine - The Entertainers Issue - March 2018
VIE Magazine - February 2018 Destination Travel Issue
VIE Magazine - January 2018 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine, The Sophisticate Issue, December 2017
VIE Magazine - November 2017 Art & Culture Issue
VIE Magazine - October 2017 Home & Garden Issue
VIE Magazine | September 2017 | The Stories and Storytellers Issue
VIE Magazine - The Adventure Issue - August 2017
VIE Magazine - July 2017 - Art & Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail