Small Band, Big Heart

A feature on the band as they play their hearts out for the final time this season. 

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Janelle De Jesus, Feature Editor

On December 5, the band performed at D.W. Rutledge Stadium for one final performance to wrap up their season. The band ended up getting first place, making them Area H champions of this now concluded marching season. This was a big win for the students and all of the staff. 

This season’s marching show was titled ‘All We Need is Love’, and featured music by The Beatles. While this show was an overall fun show to experience by spectators, it had a much deeper meaning to the band and all of its faculty. 

This past summer, head band director Thomas Galvez was found to have cancer in his brain. After hearing the tragic news, the band decided to dedicate this show to him and his love of music. 

“I want to thank Mr.Galvez for having faith in me,”  junior and percussion captain Sierra Christa said. “He pushed me to never give up and taught me how to be a great musician. Without his constant reassurance I would not have been able to become such a great leader and musician. He made this year memorable for me and the percussion section.”

Since the start of the marching band season, which began over the summer, the band has put in tremendous amounts of effort to make this year the most successful yet. Following the previous year in which the band had the award winning show ‘The Ripple Effect’, the band wanted to have an equally winning year. Fun fact, they succeeded. 

While the band had its setbacks due to COVID-19, they pushed through. The band had dwindled in numbers, and this year had only about 60 kids on its field prior to the 150. The band was also forced to start the season in September, rather than July. Nonetheless, they showed up and ended up winning several competitions. 

The band left with a 2nd place, straight 1’s at UIL, and Area H championship. The victories tasted sweet in the mouths of freshmen who were just learning what a marching band was, and seniors who had been given one last chance to make the year memorable. 

“The band got smaller and I was determined to make it different,” junior and unofficial band motivator Giorgette Ruiz said. “Our hopes were down and I wanted to be the ray of energy that hyped everyone up. During football games, practices, and performances I always made sure to boost everyone’s confidence and bring a smile to their faces. I love this band with everything I have and I plan on staying until I graduate, and I hope to become brass captain next year.”

Speaking of my fellow band seniors; if you have been following the marching band as long as I have, you probably remember shows like ‘Red’, ‘Wonderland’ and ‘A Call for Valor’. But, if you have been in band, or have a friend in band, as long as I have been involved in the program, you probably remember a certain show entitled ‘Are We There Yet?’. This was my first ever marching show, and although I did not expect it, this program changed my life. 

It was much more than just another extracurricular activity to me and many other students at this high school. The amount of effort that goes into these types of activities is tremendous, and should not be taken lightly. The seniors this season walked in with their heads hung low, thinking that they would not be given the privilege that previous classes had gotten, but left with their heads held high as they realized that this show itself was a gift. 

“I am happy knowing that I was able to end my four years with a band that improved so much more than I ever would have expected,” senior and drum major Kimberly Schaad said. “We did the best we could with what we had, and I didn’t think it would turn out the way it did. Being drum major was a very different experience than just being a section leader had been; I got to meet more people rather than just my section. Had I not had Mr. Galvez pushing me to be a leader, I never would have gotten this chance, so for that I thank him.” 

As the freshmen marched onto the field for their first time, and the seniors left it for the last time, we were able to remember and cherish the moments that we have together as an organization. While this was not the season that the band had asked for, it was in fact the season that they deserved. 

“This season means a lot. It’s our senior year and we wanted to make it the most memorable,” senior and brass captain Julissa Martinez said. “Without Mr. Galvez’s love and support we couldn’t have done it. I want to thank him for never giving up on our band especially through this difficult time. Without him we wouldn’t have been successful.”

In one of the last moments of the bands final practice before the last competition, brass tech and music consultant, Ms. Alejos, said this: 

“This season is not about winning and losing. When you are in the stands and see all of your spectators cheering and dancing to songs that they know and love, that’s what it’s about. The fact that you went out there despite everything going on in this world and everyone telling you you can’t do it, that’s what this is about. This season and this show is about building character. This group in front of me has proven to me that it is capable of doing anything.” 

With her final and very touching words, the band went on to be the best. Every single band member, whether they had mallets, flags, or an instrument in their hand went on and left everything out on the field that day. 

So, as this season ends, and the band is left with nothing more than memories, they can truly say that this season was one for the books. And me, as a senior of that organization all I will say is ‘we made it, this is our road trip home’. For the last time, with such a touching show near and dear to the hearts of many, my true and final words to Mr. Galvez and Mr. Jimenez, and every single person that made this season possible is a big thank you and at the end of the day, ‘All We Need is Love’.