Band makes state
Practice pays off for the Rowlett Mighty Eagle Band. The band performed at Mesquite Memorial on Oct. 23 against the top 20 bands in the area placed first in the area. The traveled to the state competition and finished 14th of 36 bands.
“I’m excited to be able to go back since we didn’t make it in 2008,” Band Director Phil Alvarado said. “I’m excited for the kids.”
The Eagle band remains the only GISD high school band to advance to state.
“Of course I’m proud, but I’m also proud of Sachse and Garland because they were next in line,” Alvarado said.
Mr. Alvarado said that careful day-to-day planning and setting long term goals is the key to success.
“I try to give the students as many opportunities as I can for them to be successful,” Mr. Alvarado said.
Senior Drum Major Jay Wallis said it feels very fulfilling. “We are blessed. This is something nice to end my last year here with.” Jay said. “Hard work really does pay off. Being freshman and not making state makes being a senior and making it so much better.”
Wallis said practicing gets “tiring but it was all worth it.” The band had a total of 147 hours of practice and also practiced every day in the month of August before school had even started.
“I think I gave it my all when it came down to it,” Wallis said. “We gave it everything and luckily it paid off.”
Being drum major may look easy, but the band is relying on him so it’s more work than most people think.
“I just try my best to transfer my energy to the band,” he said. “I stay focused through my conducting with mine and the band’s energy.”
Marching band involves coordination of the performance, the marching, each step, and also the color guard.
“Feels amazing for us making state. It’s cool being the only GISD school,” color guard Captain Kathleen McClendon said. “We worked hard. Last year, senior alumni said we wouldn’t make it. It feels nice to prove them wrong.”
For some this was an emotional time. Most cheered with joy and even some shed a tear. “I was over the top happy I just couldn’t believe it,” McClendon said. “I started crying. I felt relieved. I was so stressed out. I can’t believe we made first. I can’t wait to perform at state.”
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