On Friday nights in the fall, they're on opposite sides of the field. However, Sunday afternoon, the Basset, Magna Vista and Martinsville High School bands will join forces to play the National Anthem at Martinsville Speedway, as part of the prerace ceremonies for the STP 500.
This marks the first time the three high schools in the City of Martinsville and Henry County have integrated to form one.
"This is a really exciting opportunity not only for the kids, but for the area as well," Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. "We have really strong music programs at all three schools and to be able to show them off on a national stage is great."
For Martinsville High School Band Director Brian Joyce, the logistics of putting the three bands together wasn't as difficult as it seemed, due to having played Camping World Truck Series races in the past.
"It's a little bit easier, because we've played Martinsville Speedway races before," Joyce said. "As far as getting three groups together, we've had a lot of meetings with the three directors from the schools and we're going to see how it goes."
For the students, the opportunity is exciting, even though the schools spend most of the year as rivals.
"I think it shows that even though we're rivals on the football field or basketball court, the bands can still come together and we can show everybody that we can work together," Allison LaPrade, a senior at Magna Vista said. "The difficult part is memorizing a new arrangement, but what makes it fun is that this is a once in a lifetime thing and we'll probably never get to do it again."
"It means a lot, because we've never had the opportunity to do things like have all of us in one, playing together," Rosetta Hairston, a senior from Martinsville, said. "So I'm excited."
Racing returns to Martinsville Speedway this weekend.
This year the historic track celebrates its 70th anniversary.
The weekend starts on Friday with Virginia Lottery Pole Day and continues on Saturday with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be in action on Sunday with the running of the STP 500.
Ticket prices start at $55 and tickets in the Bill France Tower are $60.
The race is the first short-track race of the season and marks the series' return to the east coast after the "West Coast Swing."
Last year Kyle Busch became the first driver in the tracks storied history to win both the Truck and Premier Series races in the same weekend.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
-- Martinsville Speedway --