Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Talk Up the Bands

Even though Texas is known for its quality bands, it seems like they don't get nearly as much coverage as, say, football, at least in our local media. But there are certainly plenty of band supporters out there (and it's not just the parents, either), and I'm sure that we were all happy to see some increased coverage this week, and my hat is off to the Dallas Morning News for doing so.

It started on Friday with an extensive feature on the Allen High School band, they of the 638 members this season. Just how big are they? Well, they're this big:
Bigger marching bands have been assembled for special events. But folks at the University Interscholastic League, the Texas Music Educators Association, and Bands of America say they don't know of a regularly performing marching band anywhere that's the size of Allen's.

"It's the largest marching band program that I'm aware of," agreed Robert Carnochan, director of the University of Texas Longhorn Band, which has a trifling 390 members.

The Allen High marching band has about as many musicians as there are members of Congress. It has five musicians for every one in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The 85-member trumpet section is bigger than many high school marching bands.
The article goes on to say that the band requires 18 school buses and three trucks whenever they go on the road.

They're not just big, they're also successful, even if they may be noted more for creating a family atmosphere than bringing home top honors at competitions. But with the Allen football team bringing home the Class 5A state championship last year, the band got to perform on a pretty big stage. (And yes, it could be said that a band of that size needs a pretty big stage. Heh.)

But the DMN's band-love didn't stop there. Earlier this week, they also ran a feature on Mesquite Poteet, which was going for its third consecutive state championship in the 4A State Marching Contest on Monday (these championships are held every other year for each classification, with 1A, 2A and 4A in odd-numbered years and 3A and 5A in even-numbered years). And while a Mesquite Poteet three-peat (heh) was not to be (they came in third, and another local school, Frisco Wakeland, placed fourth), it was still a great article about a successful program that's been excelling for years now.

Thanks, DMN, for covering the bands. And be sure and drop back in on them during the rest of the year; there are lots of good things going on during concert season as well.

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