“The band earned first division in all categories. I am very pleased with it. They worked hard. I’m proud of their work ethic. The kids do a great job working hard. I’m proud of them. They gave a great performance,” said Sulphur Springs ISD Director of Bands Charles McCauley Monday.
Each section of the band earned first division ratings, including the overall band, color guard, drum major and percussionists.
In addition to the students’ hard work, McCauley credited the team effort among band directors working with the students.
“The system here is a team effort. Jennifer Turner, who is the middle school band director, is also the color guard director. She actually wrote the drill. The other directors come over and help,” McCauley noted.
The SSHS marching band made the Northeast Texas Marching Festival finals, which were disrupted due to the weather which set off the “lightning system sirens at the stadium.” The entire contest had been delayed at least an hour in starting due to the weather.
The top ratings are especially notable for two reasons. The band is a relatively young band with only nine seniors whereas there are 48 freshmen; the rest are sophomores and juniors. The band also had performed their whole show, with everyone on the field, only one other time — at Friday night’s football game.
The band’s halftime show this year is called “Dreamer of Dreams.” They perform four songs, including “Sweet Dreams” made popular by the Eurythmics in 1983; “My Waking Life” which includes narration; “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables; and Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird.”
“I am very pleased with the students; this was their best performance of the year. They did the whole show Friday night at the game. That was the first time we had everything on the field. September was hot the whole month mostly. They persevered. Their practice and hard work paid off,” McCauley noted.
The students this week will continue practicing and tweaking their halftime show in readiness for Thursday’s University Interscholastic League contest, also being held in the Mount Pleasant stadium.
“One purpose of going Saturday was to give participants a chance to be in that stadium,” noted McCauley. “I’m proud of them. They gave a great performance.”
Band directors made note of any areas that could be improved and will be working on those things in an effort to be ready for regional UIL marching contest.
“At UIL, you have to be half a division better from other contest results. As a director, you want to keep getting better and be better. There’s always stuff you can work on,” McCauley said. “The music is all dream-related. The marching drill is more complicated. It keeps having to be more difficult, the drills have to be more difficult, be more complicated. As directors, we are trained to see what needs work.”
The SSHS band will depart from Sulphur Springs at about 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, and are scheduled to perform in Mount Pleasant at 3 p.m. that day. McCauley invites any parents, friends and band enthusiasts to follow them to Mount Pleasant to watch the UIL performance.
Bands earning first division ratings at region will advance to the area UIL contest.
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