Festival of Bands Unites Middle and High School Students

Ethan Lao, Yearbook Designer

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  • The flute section prepares to start their performance.

  • Cordell Foulk ’19 oversees the band setting up for their show, and prepares to begin conducting.

  • Minshin Kim ’21 and Anna Wicker ’20 are interviewed before the show begins.

  • The band performs around a decorative star.

  • Marco Martinez ’20 strikes a pose during his performance.

  • Laura Pitner ’22 passionately waves her flags around during the performance.

  • Nicolas Gonzalez ’19 triumphantly raises his flags during the performance.

  • Sarah Poppe ’22, Michelle Huang ’19, and Sourav Dhar ’21 pose before beginning their performance.

  • Joshua Shippen ’22 and Peter McGuinness ’21 wait patiently for the show to begin.

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The ninth annual Festival of Bands took place at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex on Monday, Oct. 1. At the event, all the middle school and high school bands in RRISD got the unique opportunity to both showcase their work and watch what others have been working on.

Last year, there were two performances associated with each high school: a joint performance of a stand tune with both the high school and its feeder schools, and the high school’s marching show. This year, Canyon Vista Middle School and Grisham Middle School combined with the Westwood Warrior Marching Band to perform We Got the Beat. Afterwards, the middle schools cleared off the field for the band to perform this year’s show Celestial Motions.

Festival of Bands is not just about showing off each band’s hard work; it has the power to have a huge impact on the future for eighth graders. Eighth graders get their first taste of what it is like to perform on a field.

“Festival of Bands was important to incoming eighth graders because it gives them the ability to see what they might end up doing in high school,” Mikey Williams ‘21 said. “It’s a big deal because we can get more students to join the band program. It’s also good for them to watch what they could hope and inspire to be in.”

As the band performed, eighth graders witnessed what marching a show is like up close. This new perspective was one that the current freshman can still remember experiencing last year.

“I remember watching last year’s Bluebird show and seeing the marching band for the first time, and it made me want to join [the program] because I just thought the whole activity seemed so cool,” Adi Jandhyala ‘22 said.

Just before entering the field, the band encountered some technical difficulties that changed the order of performance. The marching show was performed first, rather than the planned We Got the Beat. The band continued to run into problems with sound, forcing them to skip the preshow. As a result, the students had to adapt and adjust to the situation quickly to keep the event running as smoothly as possible.

“I think we adapted to the technical difficulties really well,” Imran Aziz ‘22 said. “The directors just told us what happened and to get in the next set because we couldn’t have any pre-show, and everyone just followed their directions really fast.”

The event proved to be a major success, revealing the band’s ability to adjust to surprises with professionalism. Additionally, it created a positive impression for next year’s incoming freshman, potentially expanding the band program for the future. Festival of Bands showcased many talents that gave other schools, eighth graders, and family members the opportunity to enjoy the hours of hard work students have spent for their band programs.