MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Hancock Whitney Stadium was the place to be Saturday afternoon as eight regional bands competed against one another in the 2023 South Alabama Marching Bands Championship.

Trumpets high, eyes wide, and ears open, proud parents and band supporters filled the stadium as St. Luke’s Episcopal School, Liberty County High School, Elberta High, D’Iberville High, Saraland High, Fairhope High, Brandon High, and Ocean Springs High School students performed in their respective marching band shows.

We caught up with students from Fairhope High School’s band after their performance.

“I feel pretty good!” one student said.

“I think we all did pretty good,” another student said. “I’m very proud of my drumline!”

After all of the eight band performances, the University of South Alabama’s Jaguar Marching Band took the field — playing classics throughout the decades including hits from 2023 like Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers.”

Marching band members from USA said it’s their love of music that keeps them continuing to play in a marching band.

“I’ve always loved marching band,” Brendan Farmer said. “I’ve always been in it. It’s been the thing that’s kept me going up into three different high schools. It’s always been the thing keeping me, making friends (and) interacting with people. That’s the thing that’s driven me throughout my high school and college career so far.”

“I have always been fascinated with wanting to pick apart music and pump out a product that is beautiful for someone to hear,” Paul Coran said. “So I find a lot of fascination and joy in really just creating music and working on it and really getting it and nitpicking it … make it just overall the best it can possibly be.”

With the hours-long band practices in the blazing summer heat, along with the hot uniforms on the football field, members of their marching bands say, at the end of the day, all of the hard work is worth it.

“It helps with scholarships for college,” a Fairhope High School band member said.

We reached out to the University of South Alabama for an update on the scores from the competition. Once WKRG News 5 obtains them, we will update them on our website and our newscast.