Band Holds Banquet to Celebrate End of Year

Srilekha Cherukuvada, Dreamcatcher Editor in Chief

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  • Band Director Thomas Turpin welcomes students and families to the 2019 Band Banquet.

  • Senior Drum Major Shelby Castleberry ’19 delivers her “Goodbye Speech.”

  • Senior Drum Major Cordell Foulk ’19 delivers his “Goodbye Speech.”

  • Winners of the Westwood Area Band Boosters (WABB) $1000 Scholarship for those pursuing music in college, seniors Tom Klink and Cordell Foulk, are recognized.

  • Parent volunteers decorate the cafeteria with lights and streamers for banquet celebrations.

  • Hundreds of band students gather for the banquet.

  • Students Sloka Chandrasekaran ’20, Bhavana Dokka ’19, and Isabel Grudowski ’19 pose with the 2018 band show “Celestial Motions” inspired backdrop.

  • Callia Thompson ’21 delivers Isabel Grudowski ’19’s Senior Send-Off Speech.

  • Sloka Chandrasekaran ’20, Bhavana Dokka ’19, Sophia Castaneda ’20, and Isabel Grudowski ’19 pose for a selfie.

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The cafeteria was engulfed with energy as students, parents, and families all gathered to celebrate a great year in band during the band banquet on Friday, May 3. The annual banquet consisted of speeches by the directors and drum majors, dinner, and senior send-offs.

“I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I’d be, mostly because I knew I’d see everyone on Monday, but I was definitely sad,” Megan Patterson ‘19 said. “The hardest part was after my send-off when all of the flutes gathered around and started hugging me, because I really realized how much I was going to miss the section.”

As students entered around 6 p.m., they picked up their custom name cards and began socializing with friends and family in the cafeteria. The cafeteria was decorated to the theme of Celestial Motions, which was the marching band show for 2018. Stars and lights lined the outskirts of the cafeteria and the center pieces were crafted with beautiful nets and lights.

“I really liked the decorations and the concepts of the senior cake with each layer signifying a marching season,” Sai Tadiboyina ‘22 said. “I felt that my first band banquet was very fun and was a great way to end such a great year. I wish there could’ve been more events like this in middle school.”

The buffet line for fajita tacos and chips and queso opened around 6:15 p.m. and soon after, Director of Bands Thomas Turpin gave a short speech welcoming everyone to the banquet. As cake was being cut and served, Band President Zachary Castles ‘19 spoke about his time in band.

“I loved the senior cake this year. Usually the cake is just a representation of the past year, but this cake had four tiers, one for each of the shows the seniors have participated in,” Patterson said. “It was super cool to see all of our work put together in the one little cake. And as always, the details were so perfect, like the color guard uniforms matched the shows and the marchers had instruments so it was super beautiful and I loved it.”

Senior superlatives, service awards, and various scholarships from the Westwood Area Band Boosters (WABB) were announced after the speech. A note of appreciation for the volunteers and parents who had planned the banquet was also given out. The senior drum majors, Cordell Foulk, Ani Sreeram, and Shelby Castleberry, took the stage and gave their own speeches, thanking the band for their hard work and the directors for giving them a second home.

“Some of the superlatives that I got seemed to conflict a bit. Most likely to be a band director and most likely to be famous don’t seem to jive,” Cordell Foulk ‘19 said. “The banquet was super special and getting sent off was an extremely emotional event for me. I can’t believe this was the last one because I feel like I just blinked and it was over.”

After this, senior send-offs began, in which another student gave a short speech about a senior. To end the night, an end-of-year slideshow was shown on the big screen while students socialized and took pictures at a photobooth with friends, family, and the directors. The band banquet ended off on a high note as students left with new memories with the band.

The next band event will be the Spring Concert on Tuesday, May 14 at the Round Rock ISD Performing Arts Center (PAC).