Mississippi Lions All-State Band departs PRCC for international competition

The Mississippi Lions All-State Band departed from Pearl River Community College yesterday headed to Chicago for international competition. The band prepared for 10 days at PRCC to in their quest to defend its title as champions of the International Lions Parade, which rolls through downtown Chicago on Saturday, July 1st .

The band spent four hours a day in marching rehearsals and another seven hours practicing for the concert and for the lobby show that will be performed at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

Picayune Memorial High School senior Rebecca Robin plays clarinet in the band in her first year.

“I love it so much,” Robin said. “The staff is so motivating. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”

The band is made up of 143 students from 55 schools. About 24 high school band directors and college music education students make up the staff. The band is the only all-state band in the country that doesn’t pay the staff more than expenses.

Director/manager Jeff Cannon of Pearl said “It’s a labor of love and passion.”

The Lions of Mississippi and individual clubs sponsor much of the costs associated with camp and the trip, which will include some Broadway-type shows, a Chicago Cubs baseball game and a trip to Six Flags. The band will return to PRCC on July 5th.