Well, the band did it! They placed 4th in prelims and 3rd in finals and they are going to the State Marching Band Contest to compete on Nov. 8th!!!! Only the 3rd High School Band in Frisco to ever make it this far, this is the first year Lone Star High School will send a band to the state competition. The kids, the parents, the directors are all beside themselves.  I’ve never seen Peter so happy (or so tired!!!) as he was last night.  (The picture to the right – the selfie – is last week at Regionals.)

I uploaded the video again only to discover there’s a setting in the lower right hand corner when you play the video that allows you to change the quality.  So if it’s grainy, check that and make sure it’s at the highest quality.  (I tried to point out Peter’s position in the picture to the left – he is at the very corner of the square they form at the very beginning of the show.)


A few fun facts as you watch their performance:

  • During the first of the three “movements” or parts of the show, watch the drum majors.  The one in the middle, Megan, will change from 4/4 to 3/4 time and back again several times.  That’s because the band is actually playing in two separate time signatures!!!  It’s one of those things the judges will notice even though most people in the stands won’t.
  • The theme, Boundaries, is not just because the band is separated into two parts.  They actually “cross boundaries” multiple times during the show but you have to be watching to catch it.  For instance, Mason Martinez, a drum major, plays with the saxophones during their quintet and later on, several of the flags switch places with the band members.
  • Toward the beginning, notice that the drum line removes their drums and runs over behind the props.  This is another “boundary crossing” that was planned, but what they didn’t know was that during that section, when the big props are in front of the brass on the left hand side of the field, no one can see the drum majors! The solution?  One of the drummers, hidden by the banners, faces the band and directs them through that section!  Instant drum major!
  • When the saxes go up for their quintet (about 3 minutes into the video), there are actually 7 that march over.  Two of the seven, instead of going up onto the stage, duck behind the stage.  They are the two bassoon players that have a soli after the saxes are done!
  • When the band turns their back, they let the yellow sashes down out of a little hiding place in their uniforms.  (The band parents made all the sashes, as well as all the banners and props!)  Peter told me everyone cut the fingertips of their first finger and thumb of their gloves out so they could grab the sash without having it stick to their gloves.  At one performance early on in the season, Peter tried to help someone whose sash had not unrolled completely by grabbing it when his back was turned to the audience.  The whole thing fell off and ended up on the ground!!!  Peter felt awful.
  • When the bassoon players first start their soli, there is a mellophone player off to the left, adding to the dissonance.  That’s Thomas, a good friend of Peter’s, who is a Senior this year.  (The mellophone section has lamented all season that this is the only place the mellophones are really singled out in the entire show.  Mellophone players can be such prima donnas. Lol.)
  • At the Wylie contest, the percussion judge placed our band first in both the prelims and finals, and our percussion section won the prize for best in show for both!
  • During the announcements after the finals performances last night, I was home with Matthew and Samuel. (Brad was on loading crew, so stayed with the band.  It was too cold to keep the other boys out that late so I brought them home.) Peter wanted to share the experience with us, so he FaceTimed us during the announcements.  Because Lone Star placed Fourth in the prelims, and the order rarely changes from prelims to finals, the announcement of Southwest HS in Ft. Worth for Fourth place, really scared our band.  You could have heard a pin drop.  But when they called out our band for Third place, our kids just went NUTS.  It was so much fun to watch.  
  • Part of the reason I have been so excited about all of this is not just for Peter’s sake.  I was a Senior in 1988 when our band – Pearsall High School Marching Band – went to State in class 3A.  We made the trip to Austin as all the state finals used to be held at Memorial Stadium on the UT campus.  (Also, all the classes participated every year, rather than every other year like it is now.) I played mellophone and had a big solo during “Starlight Express,” our ballad.  We made it into the finals, then placed first in the entire state that year.  It was the only time Pearsall has ever accomplished that.  I have spent the last almost 30 years trying to find a video of our show that year but to no avail.  Nonetheless, that was a day I will never forget for as long as I live, and I’m so glad my son will get to travel to San Antonio to compete in his own State Marching Band Contest.  Good luck to the Lone Star Band – you’ll always be first in my heart!!!!!