From a Spirit from JSU press release: Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps made its official debut for 2003 on Sunday, June 8, at the opening ceremonies for the Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work Project on their home turf in Jacksonville, Ala.
Sharing the stage with the leaders of HFH, as well as various luminaries, and the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Spirit helped to welcome former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to their hometown, and entertained thousands of spectators on hand and throughout the nation on CNN. Jacksonville State University's beautiful campus is hosting volunteers from around the country for the international organization's Southeastern work project this week. The ceremonies were held in JSU's Paul Snow Stadium, familiar to drum corps fans as the venue of Spirit's home show, Spirit of America (this year's show is July 24). As Spirit filed onto the field in their newly updated uniforms (a much more streamlined and modern look), the crowd was buzzing with excitement. Spirit recieved enthusiastic ovations during the standstill performance of their 2003 program, "Time." When former President and first lady Jimmy and Roslyn Carter entered the stands, Spirit delivered a rousing rendition of the corps' song, "Georgia on my Mind," appropriate entrance music for the only President to ever hail from the Peach State. The infamous "wall of sound" is back, blasting the stands and generating the biggest applause of the evening. This corps is hungry, sounding very mature for early June. The 2003 Spirit corps consists of 135 members, including 64 brass, 32 percussion, 36 guard and three conductors. Everyday rehearsals have been underway since May 24, and Spirit has nearly their entire show on the field. The corps will continue to perfect their program in Jacksonville for another week before their competitive debut in Sevierville, Tenn., on June 20.
Spirit from JSU performs at the Habitat ceremony on June 8.