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Connection Stories

Band Together

December 08, 2021

A journey of two rival high schools finding unity through the power of human connection

18 months into a pandemic that has halted sports seasons internationally, we have reason to unite this year and cultivate healthy rivalries as a way of bringing communities together in shared enthusiasm.   


In “Band Together,” Cox brings two rival high schools together through their marching bands to create a joint halftime performance to bridge a decades old rivalry and prove that human connection can create unity, even amongst rivals.   


Filmed in Oklahoma City, our ‘Band Together Band’ became a symbol of connection for the community. Separate they are good, but together, they are unstoppable. Throughout this journey, Cox interviewed community residents, students, and fans about the history between these two teams – Putnam City North and Putnam City West and documented the unification of the bands.  


During this process we met band members Anselmo and Luke. Two high school students who had been adversaries on the field for years. What’s different now - their shared common goal to bring their community together through the power of music. “To bring this community together, someone has to take the first step”, Anselmo explains. Their newfound friendship not only bridges a historical divide, but it also sends a message of harmony.​ 


For weeks Anselmo and Luke, and the rest of the marching bands practiced side-by-side in secret to prepare for this momentous halftime show, becoming one in the name of unity to surprise everyone who attended the big rivalry football game.   


At the beginning of the performance, what first appears to be a battle of the bands evolves from dissonance to spectacular harmony, both physically and musically. The Performance - set to ​the song “Why can’t we be friends” – ​ illustrates the journey from rivals to friends. “Honestly, I think it does change a lot of things, because when we're in a current state of the world where there's a lot of divisions happening right now... I feel like showing how things as simple as a school rivalry can bring harmony and can create magic in a beautiful project” said Colin Burdick, a band member from Putnam City North.  

Watch the performance

For Cox, this effort represents another step in an ongoing commitment to deliver human connection where it's needed most called The Connections Project. At a time when there are so many things that divide us, Band Together represents the power of connection and a way forward together that resonates across the country, because with music – there are no differences.   

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