When it comes to successful high school teams in the State, it may be tough to top one from Sumner. They've performed at the Rose Bowl, the Cherry Blossom Parade in D.C. and this past May, they were even at the Indy 500. King 5's Chris Egan shares the story of Sumner band director Joe Carl in this week's prep zone.
Friday night football, big crowds, big hits and big plays, but a prep football game just wouldn't been the same without the band.
"Getting all these students coming together, and the power they can play with and with high school bands , you can have your great players, your superstars and then you have your students that are barely in there and they feel so much a part of it and it's so neat and it's so neat having all the students together and working together," says Sumner band director Joe Carl who has been the band director at Sumner for 27 years.
"It's a great group of students that are always doing their best to do their part well and you put it all together and man, magic happens, " says Carl.
This year Carl has nearly 200 students in this years band. "The students have great pride in what they do, they enjoy what they do, it's teamwork, it's a lot more than just the music itself, " says Carl.
Carl's band works hard from after school sessions, to parades, pre-game to the game, the 61 year old Carl is committed , along with his kids to be the best.
"I don't have hobbies, I'm lucky I have thrown myself full into this and I really enjoy it, my wife works with the color guard, so she has fun with it too," says Carl.
"When they march around the field when we are warming up, it's the most amazing feeling and the thing I love about Joe, Joe loves band more than I love football and that's pretty hard to do," says Sumner head football coach Keith Ross.
Not only is Joe good teacher, he also plays a little bit and writes, in fact in 1974 he wrote a pretty big hit.
Sound of Let's Go Blue.
If it sounds familiar, it should, the name of the song, Let's Go Blue, has become an anthem for Michigan football.
42 years ago Joe and his wife Ellen were sophomores at Michigan. They remember the night the song came to life.
"We were playing at a hockey pep band at Yost Ice Arena," says Ellen.
"In hockey you have a lot of stoppage in the action, when you get an icing call, that takes 15-20 seconds to get going again , so we use to fill that time with tubas and goof around doing different things," says Joe
Ellen adds, "He was trying to come up with some tuba cheers like the organ plays in a hockey game."
"I don't really know the exact moment it happened , but we played this," says Joe.
"And it caught on and one of the kids after they went the dunt, dunt, dunt, one of the kids in the band went, we could say, lets go blue, and that's basically how it started," says Ellen.
"The next thing you know were playing at a Michigan football game in front of 100,000 fans and the rest I guess is history," says Joe.
A tradition in Ann Arbor, an inspiration in Sumner, truly making a difference one note at a time.
Chris Egan, King 5 Sports.
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