CUMMING — Forsyth Central High School’s Flash of Crimson Marching Band was represented on both sides of the field at last week’s College Football Playoff national championship game, though neither former student required a helmet.
Alyssa Flynn, a senior at Clemson University in South Carolina, and her mellophone — similar to a French horn — have been part of the Tiger Band since graduating from Central in 2012. Most recently, she and the band traveled to Arizona as the Tigers took on the Alabama Crimson Tide.
“Although it was sad to see them work so hard and then lose, I don’t think that there was a mad Clemson fan in that stadium,” Flynn said. “Everyone was so supportive of the team.
“There was even a group of fans that started the Cadence Count [cheer] leaving the stadium.”
The Tigers fell to the Tide 45-40.
Last week, the Forsyth County News caught up with another Central grad, Ashley Jeter, who performed in the color guard for Alabama and graduated high school two years after Flynn.
Flynn said one of her favorite parts of the game was the fact that ESPN aired the bands’ halftime performances.
“This is something that I have never heard of being done before,” she said. “It’s neat to see that all the hard work the bands put in can also be highlighted.”
Flynn has been playing music so long she cannot remember what got her into it in the first place.
“I went to elementary school in Billings, Mont., where at the time you had to pick between band or chorus, and I chose to play the French horn. So I have been at it since,” she said.
The environmental engineering major said participating in the Flash of Crimson band at Central prepared her technically for the transition to a college marching band.
“It was a big change at first. There was no competitive edge, and that was strange for me,” she said. “Once I got used to a little more of a relaxed feeling, I fell in love with it.
“I get to go to all of the football games without having the hassle of trying to get a student ticket, and I also get to travel to games like the national championship for free for doing something that I love.”
She said she also went to Syracuse, N.Y., this season with the band.