Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The spirit of Gamecocks football is here, and a large part of the reason for that reason is the Carolina Band.
Over a period of a few weeks, we followed them to take a look at how they have been gearing up for the first game of the season.
The band is playing the tune of a new director this year, as Interim Band Director Jayme Taylor takes over.
"Everybody's coming in with a really fresh outlook on what they're about to do," Taylor said. "(There's) just a bunch of potential."
Katelen Dusek, a freshman from Georgia, was preparing to take the field in front of thousands of screaming Gamecocks fans as she entered band camp, a week-long initiation for band members before classes started at the university.
"The energy is going to be insane tomorrow," Dusek said the day before the Gamecocks were set to take on Texas A&M at home.
"I can't wait to see what it looks like, sounds like with 85,000 people in (Williams-Brice Stadium)," she said.
Dusek was one of a handful of freshman members of the band who were trying to shake first game jitters, along with more band members who have been working to take the field for weeks now.
A couple days into band camp, Dusek was still getting adjusted to college life.
"I'm still kind of getting adjusted; haven't really had much of a chance to unpack yet," she said.
That was a stark contrast to how she felt a couple weeks into the school year.
"It's going to be really cool to be able to perform and to share everything that we've worked on with thousands of people," she said before practice Wednesday.
Dusek plays clarinet for the band, the same instrument she's played since high school.
"This band is definitely bigger than what I'm used to. A lot of new things, a lot of major transitions but everybody is really helpful with it which is nice," said Dusek.
We watched, on the days we were there, as the sun beamed down, reaching well into the 90's during their practices.
"I've enjoyed it; I've definitely made a lot of friends," she said. "Been really social and band has certainly helped with that."
So looking forward, it's not just the game Dusek is excited for.
"I want to just have a strong freshman year, and just keeping the grades up and doing well musically and I think it's going to be a really great year," she said.