THE SEMINOLE NEWSPAPER

#THROWBACK: THE HISTORY OF PRIDE OF THE TRIBE

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#THROWBACK: THE HISTORY OF PRIDE OF THE TRIBE

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Seminole High School’s Pride of the Tribe includes the band members, cheerleaders, and Dazzlers who bring the football games to life. Although they keep it very modern, the Pride of the Tribe has a rich and storied history that goes back for to the previous century. 

1961

To go back to the very inception of the school band is to go back nearly sixty years. PL Malcom, who has been band director for twenty years, said that Seminole High School was always a synthesis of diverse backgrounds. In fact, our school was built on the basis of two very different schools.

“They combined Sanford [High School] and Crooms [High School] together in 1961, so this high school was the combination of those [two]. It was named Seminole County High School, [and] we have history of both schools,” Malcolm said.

1975


Gena Bukar, a Seminole High School alumni, was a drum major in 1975. She was one of the first people to march in the present-day football stadium.

Music in Seminole County has been a huge part of Bukar’s life–her family has had strong roots in the Pride of the Tribe for years. Her father was part of the band at SHS in 1942, and her grandfather was the first president of the Band Director Association. Years after graduating from SHS, Bukar continues to show her love and support for the Pride of the Tribe by volunteering as a dividend at Seminole High School.

“I was a second generation [band member]. My father actually was in the Marching Seminoles, as it was called, because he grew up in Seminole in the 1940s,” Bukar explained.

In the ’70s, the band was much smaller than it is today. It used to consist of close to 100 people. In comparison, today the band nears 315 members–the largest it has ever been. The previous band also did not have a front line with mallet instruments, and they only did basic drill lines. However, this band had a different antiquated tradition–majorettes, who twirled batons and marched alongside the band.

2008

Cheyne LaBonte is one of the present-day band directors. He enrolled as a student in 2008, realizing during his school career that band was his passion. 

“I liked band in high school because there was a lot of things for us to do. There was a marching band, we got to do band class, and there would be performances at basketball games. We had many different opportunities. We would go even down and march at Disney,” said LaBonte.

After graduating from SHS in 2012, LaBonte continued pursuing his marching band career by playing at Florida State University. While playing music, LaBonte realized that being in band wasn’t just influential for him–it also influenced the people around him. He realized that by playing in a band, he not only made memories for himself, but made lasting memories for his peers as well.

“People are watching us perform, [and] they are excited about it. I think in high school, it was the first time I saw that music really affects other people,” Labonte said. “This affects how they feel, this affects their emotions, and I have seen that in all the other times I played in band too, but especially in high school.”

2018 (Present)

Currently, The Pride of the Tribe is at its maximum size and is achieving great feats. This year, they are going international and flying to France for the D-Day celebration.

“I’m really excited about it. I think it’s huge that we’re one of three high school marching bands in the world that gets to go and play. [Also,] it will just be a genuinely fun experience to explore a place I’ve never been to before,”said junior Max Dalton.

The Pride of the Tribe of Seminole High School, has been, quite literally, the pride of our campus since its very start. Although there are many differences between the generations of members, one underlying theme remains: their shared passion for music and band as a family.

“Something about standing there in a group of 200 people, I think our students realize that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Although there is individualism, there is a sense of ‘This is us’. This is Seminole High School. This is the Pride of the Tribe,” Malcolm said.

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