Pure Gold Gets Bennie Wylie As Trainer
The Wylie Pure Gold Band is all in on its goal of winning a state championship this year, so much so that band directors even got a personal trainer to work the band out during summer rehearsals.
Personal trainer Bennie Wylie, who recently won the television show Strong, led the Wylie band in hour-long workouts three times during its first week of practice.
“It was awesome,” said band vice president Jack Lowry. “It was a great experience. There were some people who were nervous and scared, but it helped to build us up as a band.”
Wylie Band Director Jeannie Lunney said having Wylie work out the band was part of an increased emphasis the band has on being fit. It also was part of the band’s mission to do whatever it takes to win state.
“A lot of our kids have been couch potatoes all summer,” she said. “Our motto is to be better than the rest. No other band that I know has their own personal trainer.”
Lunney said Wylie was the right man for the job.
“We think there’s no one better to get these kids to buy into it,” she said. “He is an incredible motivator. It’s unbelievable.”
Wylie had the band doing lunges and sit ups, squats and even dance moves to get them exercising.
Wylie said winning the show Strong has given him a bigger platform to spread his message of fitness, but the Pure Gold is the first request he has ever had to train a band. He said his goal was to “just train them and help them to be the best they can be. I just want to help them reach their goals,” he said.
He said band students aren’t any different from athletes.
“Everybody I work with wants to be the best,” he said. “They are exactly the same. They want to be great.”
Lunney said the band is going to continue to work out voluntarily twice a week.
“We are going to be committed to being fit,” she said.
Raquel Davis, a drum major and band president, said Wylie motivated the students.
“There is a lot of positive energy,” Raquel said. “People were cheering each other on. The effort and emphasis on being physically fit is making people more confident. Its exciting to see everyone so confident.”
Emily Colwell, captain of the flag corps, said she was excited when she heard the band was working out with Wylie.
“I like to workout,” she said. “It was exciting to see the whole band working so hard. It helps to energize everyone.”
Bands in Texas only get to compete for state every other year, and this year is Wylie’s chance. The band has advanced the last four opportunities in a row but has not yet been able to reach the finals.
This year, the band is pulling out all the stops.
“Everyone is willing to work hard,” Raquel said. “We have props and visuals. The drill is very well written. It’s going to be a very emotional show.”
Band members spent August rehearsing from 7 a.m. to noon during the week, and the flag corps and drumline practiced from 1-3 each afternoon as well.
Tres Perkins, head of the Wylie drumline, said the band takes seriously the traditions that it has established over the years.
“We’ve won marching 29 years in a row,” Tres said. “There’s definitely pressure. It’s more continuing the tradition and raising the bar. Everyone has the same goal. We are winning it all.”