By: Marin Murray

The Eagle Band received Division I ratings across the board in the Class 6A regional marching contest on October 18, however, they were disqualified from competing in the area marching competition.

The band still has an opportunity to earn Division I ratings in both the concert and sight-reading competitions later this year, but they are unable to qualify for Sweepstakes due to their disqualification in the marching contest.

“We really just take things one day at a time,” head band director Jonathan Kraemer said prior to the UIL competition. “So when a challenge does come our way, in the grand scheme of things it’s just one thing for us to work through, and it’s not the end of the world. We have students who have weathered a lot, and they still continue to show up. When they are working together for a common goal, it’s something really special to see and be a part of.”

Before the regional competition, the Eagle Band competed in the Bands of America competition in Midland on October 2, finishing 22nd out of 24 schools.

“It was so much fun,” senior drum major Gustavo Marquez said. “Even though we placed pretty low, I got a good experience out of it. We just got to have fun and not even worry about anything.”

However, after their performance in Midland, the band was able to completely turn themselves around and finish with the highest score possible at the regional competition.

“I love being able to be in a giant group with everyone and make music together,” junior snare drummer Nathan Wilson said. “They’ve been really great and we’ve had a ton of fun together. We’re like a big family.”

Despite not advancing to the area competition, the band has still had so much to be excited about this year. They’ve been able to perform at away football games as well as pep rallies after not being able to last year.

“I think there’s been a lot of excitement especially going into the beginning of the year because we didn’t get to do as many things last year,” Kraemer said. “The thought of being able to have summer band, traveling to all the football games, doing pep rallies, and all that because we didn’t have that available last time around has been really fun.”

Not only that, but they’ve finally been able to put to use their marching show, which has been in the works for quite some time.

“The show is called ‘The Elements’ and its earth, wind, water, and fire,” Kraemer said. “The concept was one that we came across, actually two years ago. We planned on doing it for our show last year, but when COVID hit we tabled it. So, we’ve had it for almost two years now. It features different movements that are centered around those different elements, so they have different themes and things based on those different ideas.”

Despite the disappointment of their disqualification, the band still has so much to look forward to for the remainder of the year and for what is possible in the next few years to come.

“There’s a lot of energy and a lot of excitement about what’s possible,” Kraemer said. “Because every day is a gift this year, we don’t take anything for granted. So that means every time we come together, we have things to appreciate. Going into the year, it’s been really exciting to come together and do the things that we do and not have the restrictions that we’ve had in the past.”