A Competitive Season

Emily Hines, Jr. Reporter

After many practices before and after school in preparation, the Reedy Marching Band went to UIL, a state contest, on Oct. 22 in Plano, Texas.

Now the band will travel to Waller, Texas on Oct. 29 to perform at the last competition of their marching season before transitioning into concert season.

“Every performance helps us become a better, stronger, and more consistent band,” band director Levi Chavis said. “Now that it is post-UIL for us, it gives us an opportunity to prepare for next year.”

Morning rehearsals and stadium practices are crucial to help the band prepare for the competitions.

“We try to compete in extra competitions so that we can get used to the environment and perform well,” Junior Braden Ritchie, one of the brass section leaders, said. “The Plano East Invitational Contest, which was at the same place as UIL, gave us the opportunity to showcase what we can do and build ourselves as musicians.”

The leaders and directors set the tone and pace for the band to sustain a family-like environment.

“The directors just want to make sure the show is right and the band is doing what they are supposed to in order to make it flow,” Freshman Katherine Walker said. “The drum majors try to lead the band and make sure we are on-task, and the section leaders do the same.”

The band director believes the leaders make a big difference by putting others before themselves and setting an example, which helps those students learn responsibility and time management.

“The student leadership in the band is, by far, the most important part of a band program,” Chavis said. “They are the people that should have a good idea of the morale of the band. Sometimes the directors cannot be as connected to the members as student leadership.”

The band’s dedication to their elective is shown in the eight hours of practice before and after school, weekly football games, and early Saturday morning competitions.

“It seems like the band is a family and the music is always good,” junior Mollie Price said. “They practice in the morning and during their class periods, and because of that, they become a family. That is a lot of commitment.”

After the band’s final marching competition, the band will transition into concert season until mid-April, beginning with All-State Auditions and a Winter Festival Concert.

“All-Region and All-State band auditions give us a chance to express our individuality with our instrument,” Walker said. “You can style the piece to fit your abilities, and the judges really appreciate that when choosing contenders for the high-level bands. It pushes us to play and perform our best for judges, and in the end, makes us into better musicians.”