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Marching an uphill battle

‘I Am Water’ aims for a smoother flow

The+trumpet+section+performs+the+band%27s+halftime+show%2C+%22I+Am+Water%2C%22+during+the+away+game+at+McKinney+Stadium+on+Thursday%2C+Sept.+13.
The trumpet section performs the band's halftime show,

The trumpet section performs the band's halftime show, "I Am Water," during the away game at McKinney Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 13.

Photo by Valerie Benzinger

Photo by Valerie Benzinger

The trumpet section performs the band's halftime show, "I Am Water," during the away game at McKinney Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 13.

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Throughout the past two weeks, band participated in their first two competitions this marching season; at the HEB Marching Contest on Saturday, Sept. 29 they placed 10th out of 30, but at the Bands of America Dallas/Ft. Worth Regional Championship on Saturday, Oct. 6 they placed 23rd out of 30. While the band isn’t starting off with the best score, they are still determined to place higher in competitions compared to last year.

“We put in a lot of energy and effort,” junior Hannah Stephens said. “All the hard work really paid off. We just need a little more practice on things that are new to us.”

The band directors work closely with all band members to help them with their individual playing styles. The name of this years theme is “I Am Water,” which is meant to represent how music can be as calm and tranquil as water.

“The theme of the show is water, and it’s just about a river flowing into the ocean,” Stephens said. “Also how music can be so calming but also be like a raging torrent.”

The theme of the show is different from the typical music one would expect from the band, due to its overall calmer tone and elegant format. The directors of the band think this uniqueness is going to help them place higher at competitions.

“The decision was not mine alone,” assistant director Christopher Agwu said. “The LHS band staff plus our drill writer and music arranger worked together to create the show. After throwing out multiple ideas, it was the idea [of water] that floated to the top. We felt we could do more with that concept than other [options.]”

The band enjoys playing and working with this new piece of music, and even though mistakes are being made, the directors take the time to work out those mistakes to prevent them from happening again.

“We need to focus more on individual mistakes and stop losing focus during the performance,” senior Michael Gutierrez said. “Our directors are pushing us harder this season. We had to work with a short summer, so they are using more music-oriented work to help us get better.”

Similar to previous pieces performed by the band, there are areas that need to be improved upon, ranging from individual errors to the band struggling with the music as a whole.

“The last couple of weeks we have just been adding and prepping a lot of stuff, and slowly getting it on par with stuff we already know,” Gutierrez said. “It can get really stressful at times but it isn’t something we are not used to already.”

Despite their slow start, the band members are eager to show off their new music and how hard they have been working on their craft. The band’s desire to place higher only continues to grow with each competition.

“Every year we have been getting better as a band, so I feel like we are working harder at competitions and having more success,” Gutierrez said. “I know we want to accomplish our goal of going to state this year and even though it is far away, we are still excited about it.”

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Marching an uphill battle