Band Goes to State


by Madison Moseley, Co Editor-in-chief

This year the band qualified to attend the UIL State Marching Band Contest, simply called “State” by students, something that has not been done since 2012, placing 26th out of 40 with their show Steampunk Heart. The band participates in the State competition, once every two years. In this competition 40 bands from across Texas compete at the Alamodome in San Antonio, after placing in the top five at their respective Area competitions.  

“I remember as a freshman our seniors had done Bells, and Bells had made State and I wanted to keep that legacy up,” Woodwind Captain senior Gina Reynolds said. “The failure to do so for Uprising two years ago was really hard on me, so this year to actually do it was kind of fulfilling.”

The show Steampunk Heart is a celebration of life as it depicts a machine becoming human. The first movement is robotic and mechanical but as the show progresses a heart is assembled and brought to life, hence the heart prop blowing steam by the end of the show. The central theme music for the show is the “Promise of Living” by Aaron Copland, which in present throughout all four of the movements.

“[The concept for the show] is the exploration of man or machine and are we becoming human or becoming machine in a steampunk setting,” Associate Band Director Mr. Lee Redfearn said.

State years tend to differ from non-state years in the makeup of the show.

“State years there are four movements, and it’s a lot more demanding drill-wise because they judge you more harshly on your drill,” Reynolds said. “[The Bands of America competition] is more lax and the concept’s more lax, like with Push and with Spectrum it was more free flowing, but with Uprising and Steampunk Heart, they’re more concrete themes for judges to get a hold of.”

Marching bands are composed of five essential parts- the wind players, front ensemble, drumline, drum majors and color guard- all of which are judged critically during performances. In the past the color guard performance has been heavily critiqued in comparison to the band.

“Guard is really visual and the audience can see a mess up from an individual in the guard but you can’t really hear if someone in the band cracks a note or something,” Guard Captain senior Ashley Lao said. “This year we are a lot better and a lot more people care. It’s about having the right attitude.”

The band previously played in the Alamodome on Nov. 5, at the Bands of America competition.

“[The Alamodome] is a different environment and the scary thing about it is that the sound will echo off the walls two seconds after you actually play anything so you can’t get distracted, you have to focus the whole time on what’s going on right around you,” Drum Captain senior Grant Lindsay said. “[Playing at BOA] was a good warm-up run.”

Before attending State on Nov. 8, a send off was held at the indoor football facility where members of the community could offer support to the band and see one last run through.

“All of the support we’ve gotten inside and outside of the band [has made a difference],” Reynolds said. “If you look in the band hall there are a bunch of posters made by the band moms saying that we can do it, and that’s never happened before. [Also] the fact that people believed in us to do so and the fact that more kids this year believe that we can do it set us apart from the previous years.”

The State completion is the final competition of the season and is the culmination of work that began in the summer, the band ended on a high note receiving a one at UIL and playing in the Alamodome twice.

“I’m so proud of this band,” Reynolds said. “I would not be the person I am today if it were not for band and the life long friendships I’ve made with this program.”