MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's August. It's Alabama. It's hot. Those are all constants, but the show must go on. Football teams all over the state are getting ready for a new season. They aren't the only ones battling the heat.
"I'm so excited about this season," said band director Dr. James Oliver.
He's put together quite a program.
"The halftime show we put on, the fans don't go to the concession stand. They sit down and watch this show."
Dr. Oliver is a leader, a mentor, and a father figure to many of these kids who are a long ways from home. For lead drum major Nick Johnson, Alabama State was the perfect fit.
"I saw them perform in the 2009 Magic City Classic and I was amazed," Johnson said.
In his time in Montgomery he's learned a lot more than playing good music.
"It has taught me about self discipline, time management and work ethic,"
And that's exactly what Dr. Oliver wants.
"Being a part of this band will help you in life," Dr. Oliver said. "It will help you be calm when it's time to be patient. It will teach when there's hard work to be done, you know you can do it."
He takes a football like approach to getting his 250 member crew ready.
"I like to keep it in simple terms. We are going to beat up on everybody this year."
After all, there's the football game, and then there's the show. Sometimes there's a debate over which one fills the stands.
"We want fans to enjoy what we do. It's not easy coming up with shows."
If you've never seen them perform before, what are you missing?
"They're missing the excitement of their lives if they haven't seen the Mighty Marching Hornets."
You can see them in action on September 12th when the Hornets return to Montgomery for their first home game against Alcorn St. Kickoff is set for 6 pm.