Anniston Alabama Music
The two met before a game at Legion Field in 1994 and the first Alabama football game in the state's history.
Dunn was recruited from Gardendale High School and was the only female freshman in the charter year. Long story short, she was accepted into the minstrel parade and became a founding member of the Marching Blazers. Ashley Dunn cheered on the Marching Trailblazers as she returned to the UAB band for her second and final year of high school.
Twenty years on, the Marching Blazers are back in the sound of the distinctive, blaze-inspired uniforms that represent the school spirit.
The founding of the brass band at UAB was only one of many actions during this period that contributed to the so-called commuter school becoming a large university. Before the first season in 1994, the program performed in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, led by the then head coach of the Alabama men's basketball team. They practiced on the field next to University Boulevard and started a new tradition that involved the band breaking out and dancing with them in the middle of the show.
The enthusiasm of the fans was quite amazing, especially when we played the fight song as the team ran into the changing room. A decisive factor in my visit to UAB was the choice of my high school to conduct the UAB Honor Band. I felt proud to know that I was one of those original members of the band. It was up to me to choose the uniform I would wear, design the flag, design the pattern, and then my mother sewed it all together.
The first game was an away game against Alabama State University, and there wasn't even a uniform, but 140 band members lined up in polo shirts and khaki jackets. Two different sections had come together - meetings so that members could meet and hang out. In Montgomery, this happened before the away games and then again after the home games, as well as at home.
The Marching Blazers alumni reunited with the current band, and I got to see the band playing the same music they had played for the first time since returning to the field. My son marched as a freshman and my daughter in her last year of high school, but she's now an older student and marching.