KENTUCKY DERBY | UofL Cardinal Marching Band Prepares To Perform

05/04/2017 03:27 PM

The Kentucky Derby is truly the time for Louisville, Kentucky to shine. For the University of Louisville Cardinal Marching Band, representing their old Kentucky home is something they don’t take lightly.

“There’s just that second when they play the call to the post and they’re doing the ‘riders up’ and getting all the horses in the gate and ready to go and you can kind of feel like the stillness coming over the crowd before everything begins and that’s a really cool moment before everything goes,” explained senior head drum major Lucas Hampton.

The UofL band has performed ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ at the Kentucky Derby since 1936, creating memorable moments for anyone involved.

“They’re playing my old Kentucky home. Just an incredibly emotional moment,” Explained 1992 Kentucky Derby Winning jockey, Pat Day. “As you know, the last chorus of that everybody joins in ‘weep no more my lady’ and what neither me nor Music Leader [his horse] know was going to happen- neither one of us knew that at the conclusion of that song everybody doesn’t shut up and sit down- you stand up and clap and scream.”

For a few moments, hundreds of thousands stop everything to sing one song for their old Kentucky home.

“It’s breathtaking. When you look out there and just from the inside from the infield you can just hear the voices singing all over the place. I mean it really does take your breath away and definitely this being my last time hearing it I’ve just been like dreading the emotions that will come I’m sure when i’m experiencing my last time doing that there inside of Churchill Downs,” Hampton added.

Even for the out-of-towners, it’s special.

“I’m new to Kentucky, but you can just feel something in your heart when you hear ‘My Old Kentucky Home’, so I think it’s something that registers with every person in the crowd,” said freshman featured twirler, Steffany Lein.

Whether the sun shines bright on Derby Day or not, that’s a moment for everyone to enjoy.

“It means everything. That’s my state song. I grew up here as a Kentucky-native and I think there’s something really special- and also when we use our voice and sing it together. We play it a lot but when you can really hear the words and what that song says and means, I think it’s really powerful,” Hampton told Spectrum News.

Pat Day, a Colorado native, agreed.

“You know, I was privileged to ride in this great race 22 times and I think the emotion riding out on the race track and hearing ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ was the same the 22nd time as it was the first time.”

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