Central High School Marching Band

Wife Lila and I spotted some great clouds when we left dinner Thursday night. My car’s still at the transmission shop, so she’s driving a rental car. After shooting a dozen or so frames, I asked her to follow my cryptic directions to get to the new Central High School. When I passed it on I-55 the other night, I noticed the stadium lights were burning, so I thought maybe I could get a shot with them in the foreground and the neat sunset in the background.

When we got close enough to see the field, we noticed activity on the field – it was the Central High School Marching Band practicing for their September 2 opener. [Click on any photo to make it larger.]

You can’t beat a three-fer

I had been thinking all day that I should do something to commemorate the first day of school. Here was a chance to get the first day of school, the new football stadium and a weather shot all at one time. (I’m saving the earlier cloud shots for filler when I’m on my way back to Florida.)

Lining up to practice last routine

I got there just as the sun was setting and the band was getting set to practice their last routine. I’m pretty sure I recognized some of the kids from the Sikeston-CHS football game I shot last fall.

Band alums keep eye on practice

Former band members Billy Keys (seated) and Josh Lamar keep an eye on the green troops.

Band boosters like what they see

The woman in the front row, second from left, said she had three grandkids on the field.

Human lightning rod

When I first got to the stadium, there was an occasional flash of lightning in the clouds way off in the distance. It was far enough away that you couldn’t hear the thunder. Still, I was a bit uncomfortable as I was making my way across the metal bleachers. That’s when I spotted the human lightning rod at the very tip-top of the press box. I figured it would get him before it got me, and I felt a little better.

The lightning rod turned out to be veteran band director Neil Casey.

Casey’s in 29th year

Casey has been band director since 1983. This is his 29th and final year, he said. He followed Bill Ewing, Tony Carosello and William Shivelbine.

Megan Peters, color guard coordinator, said that her group had been practicing together since July.25. The band started August 1. They explained that the musicians received their music earlier, so they could start working on their pieces individually. Megan’s group has to be able to work together on their routines.

Marching Band Photo Gallery

Here’s a gallery of photos of band practice. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

27 Replies to “Central High School Marching Band”

  1. Thanks Ken, Great photos of the new Tiger Stadium… That stadium has been a long time coming – wonderful to see it happen – especially as CHS begins its Centennial celebration………

  2. The only thing bad about the new stadium (that I know of) is that I now have to drive to the football games. For 20 years we have only had to walk 2 blocks to the games. Never had to worry about parking or traffic.

    1. That’s my major objection to moving it from Houck Stadium. There, it was part of the community and could draw traffic downtown.

      Where it is now is an Interstate interchange. Out of town players will never get into Cape to see the river, eat at local restaurants and have the experience of playing in a university stadium.

  3. The photos are beautiful. We have a son, daughter and nephew all in the Marching Tigers and we are so proud of them, as well as the entire band. They are very talented and they will look great in the awesome new stadium!

  4. Marching band reminds me of an instance when Tony Carosello (my brother=in-law) was music Director at Central. He diagrammed a marching sequence of the popular Marlboro cigarette commercial where a marching band did the flip top box. When the Central band preformed it at a football game halftime, some parents complained and Tony was chastised by the shool administration. Times are a-changig!

  5. Thanks for the wonderful photos. The stadium looks great, but I think a little better with the marching band on the field. The entire band works really hard and it pays off. Good Luck with the upcoming season.

  6. Ken, how can I get in touch with you? I am looking for a photograph of a neighborhood grocery store that I walked to as a kid. Everybody called it Sheepy’s and it was on South Sprigg Street about half a block south of Womack Drug on the opposite side of the street. Would you have any photos of it from back in the 60’s?

  7. Come to the first football game in the new stadium, and watch the main event performing at half time. “Will mis driving y’al to houck stadium.”

    1. I’d love to, but I’m shoving off for Florida Saturday, lord willin’s the creeks don’t rise and the transmission keeps transmitting.

      Bet it’ll be a good one.

      When I was at Ohio University, we had a perfect losing season going. Toward the end of the season, students would show up to cheer for the other team so we wouldn’t break our string, then they’d leave as soon as the band was done at half time.

  8. Don’t forget Jon Kent Fisher who was also a band leader at CHS! He was from the Class of ’61 and I think it was he who changed the uniforms from the black wool ones to a khaki-colored uniform that looked like they were from the foreign legion. The uniforms were topped off with helmet-like hats.
    Ken, do you have any pictures of those uniforms or Jon Kent Fisher when he was band leader?
    He died a few years ago.

  9. Ah,yes, Marching Band. Orange and black or orange and white are both okay by me. Both Kristen (daughter -Bass Clarinet) and Eric (son – Snare drum) were in marching band at Platte County R-III High here in the Kansas City Northland. The Pirates’ colors are Orange and Black or White, so I felt right at home being a band parent for seven years. The Pirate Pride Marching Band has been a top-notch band and mult-year champions in Northwestern Missouri and Southwestern Iowa. I hope the Tigers Marching Band can lay a similar claim. GO TIGERS! GRRRR! GO PIRATES! ARRRR!

  10. Ken,
    Thanks for the great spread about the Marching Tigers. I get to work with the best students in school. They are well-disciplined with a great work ethic and a credit to our school and community. For more info check out our website ran by Professor Walt Lilly at marchingtigers.com

    Jeffrey Hawk in a previous comment brings up a great point. Ron Nall and Jon Fisher were my predecessors and colleagues and strong leaders for the Central Band program. Billy Keys and Josh Lamar (mentioned in the spread) are my current colleagues on the band staff.

    Other names who have added to CHS Band history are Bill Adams, Mel Gilhaus (a superb musician whose legacy is in the orchestral realm), Mark McHale, Mark Ellison, and Steve Schaffner (also the current CHS orchestra director as well as a superb musician and local entertainer).

    While I don’t think of myself as human lightning rod—I have had some training as a conductor.

    Thanks again, Neil

  11. I was in the CHS band thru 1947 and I remember a band director by the name of Glen Jacobs who followed William Shivelbine. Any one else remember?

  12. I was given the priviledge of being a member of the marching band and concert band playing my trombone under the direction of Tony Carosello the years of 1954, 1955 and 1956. I also was a member of the orchestra playing my violin the same years. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of “the musical family” and I thank Tony Carosello for all of the hard work and time he gave us making us better musicians and definitely better in all walks of our lives. He was a wonderful, talented and caring leader and teacher!! Class of ’56

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