The Argyle High School Eagle Marching Band, defending Class 3A champions, have advanced to the UIL State Marching Band Contest.
The group was one of four bands that advanced to the state finals from Saturday’s area finals at the C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton. Argyle finished the contest first in both preliminary and finals competition.
The University Interscholastic League State Marching Band Contest for Classes 3A and 5A will take place Nov. 5-6 at San Antonio’s Alamodome. Argyle will face off against 20 other bands for the 3A title Nov. 5.
This is the third straight time the Eagle band has qualified and advanced to the Class 3A state finals.
The band has earned four state titles since 2003 — two each in Class 2A and Class 3A.
When asked the key to the band making return trips to the state finals, band director Kathy Johnson said it’s the students.
“I think that every group of students that come through here from year to year, leave a legacy for the students coming in,” she said.
“They have a desire for excellence,” which everyone works toward, she said.
Johnson said she tells students coming into band that their charge is “to contribute to what’s already been set and make it a little better.”
She said this year’s band members are young — freshmen and sophomores comprise two-thirds of the band.
Making it back to state is, of course, a huge honor, Johnson said. It’s no easy feat. Randi Martin, a senior and drum major for the band, agreed.
“There’s a lot of great bands out there,” Martin said. “It’s an honor to be able to make it each year. We’re glad to be here and have great students that work really hard and great directors that are so dedicated.”
Each band that brings home the championship, she said, starts a new season from square one and on the same playing field as their competitors.
“This is not a given,” Johnson said. “There’s no free pass to the state championship.”
The pressure is on to repeat the successes from the 2010 contest, she said. Argyle has an opportunity to compete for the 3A state championship every two years.
“Everybody feels it,” she said. “My students feel it, my staff feels it.”
The 124-member Eagle band this year is performing a show titled “Moving Parts,” a five-movement piece. Johnson said the show is all about moving parts such as cogs, wheels and body parts.
“It’s a very high-velocity show,” she said.
Johnson said the Eagle band enters the Class 3A state finals next week with the intent to present the best musical and visual performance.
“If we can do our best, and we know what our individual responsibilities are, there’s nothing that can stop us,” said Cameron Schafer, a Argyle senior and drum major for the band.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .