Sun Beats Down, But Owasso Band Members March On

Tuesday, August 3rd 2010, 3:44 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

OWASSO, OK -- The unrelenting heat is taking a toll on many in the Tulsa area. The Weather Coalition has had 400 requests for air conditioners since June 1. 

But some choose to be outside in the blazing summer sun.

Under the rays of the sun, over the black pavement with a concentrated cadence is the Pride of Owasso -- the high school marching band.

More than 300 students surrender their final weeks of vacation freedom to rise, shine and march.

"It's a little dicey the first day, but after you get done with that one it's a lot easier," said Nathanael Rake, Pride of Owasso Senior. 

Practice lasts all day.

"We're taking more water breaks. We're encouraging the kids to wear light colored clothes, hats, anything they can to stay cool," said Chris Harris, Pride of Owasso Assistant Band Director.

They march first thing in the morning, you know... when it's only 95 degrees.

"What's a little sweat," said Emily Kessler, Pride of Owasso Freshman.

"There is a lot of physical fatigue. Everyone thinks 'marching band, that's not too hard,' but when you come out and do anything in the sun for three hours, it gets to be pretty taxing," Rake said.

Rake is used to the grueling grind of an August practice.

"You don't want to push yourself too far. You gotta know as far as you can go. You don't want to cross the line or else it's downhill," Rake said.

As the sun beats down, the beat goes on, and the band takes the heat and practice all in stride.

EMSA has responded to at least 20 heat related calls since Saturday. That includes six on Tuesday. If you need to get out of the heat, there are three cooling stations in Tulsa, open until further notice:.

  • The Salvation Army Center of Hope at 102 North Denver [24/7]
  • Tulsa County Social Services at 2401 Charles Page Boulevard [8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.]
  • Dennis R. Neill Equality Center at 621 East 4th Street [10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday]

8/3/2010  Related Story: Dangerous Heat Settles Over NE Oklahoma