With the loss of former band directors, Darla McBryde and Hunter Bown, there was a lot more dread and fear coming into the new season than there has ever been. Nearly two days into band camp, new directors, James Barnes and Connor Barnette, announced a big show change with a theme reflecting news, completely reinventing the concept and style of the marching show.
Barnes would later explain to the members they had created the show in two weeks, contrasting to the five to six months that it would normally take to be planned and ready. Regardless, the band would continue to overcome the stresses and difficulties of the situation and went forth with everything they could give.
“I was a little skeptical coming into the season because of all the changes,” sophomore Brooklyn Davis said. “But considering everything I think our show [was] really good this year [despite] everything that has happened.”
After many countless hours of practicing and perfecting their technique and first parts of the show, they were ready for their first competition in Bedford, TX. This was a highly competitive competition against some of the best bands in North Texas, and the Falcon Marching Band was expected to advance to finals for the third consecutive year in a row. Although they did not place as high as they did in the 2018-2019 season, the band still advanced and tied for last with Keller Central at finals.
“I think we could’ve done better and overall everyone was a little disappointed,” freshman Julia Price said. “But making finals was its own achievement and we all should’ve been proud of that.”
A week later, the group returned to Midland, TX as the reigning West Texas Regional Champions after winning last year’s competition. During prelims, the band performed last and placed third. Although most were disappointed, they knew they had to persevere and perform better during finals. After the band ate dinner, they all sat in the parking lot where they would listen to the preliminary judge’s tapes and discuss what happened. Afterwards, Barnes gave them a motivational speech where they would discover a new sense of confidence and give 110% in their finals performance. The band went on to place second in finals, not only moving up a place from prelims, but raising their score a lot higher than they achieved last year.
“I was hesitant going into finals,” senior Jamie Schubert stated. “But then going into finals, I was like, okay I don’t want to hear us get called third again, I want to hear us get called second.”
The following weeks they would go and perform at UIL and compete in the Duncanville Marching Invitational. At UIL, the band received a ranking of one (one being the highest you can achieve – five being the lowest), along with the three other bands in the KISD district. At the Duncanville Invitational, it was a lot similar to the competition in Bedford, only this time the scoring is different and the band only competed against 6A bands. Per usual, the band advanced to finals, and placed tenth overall in the event.
Over the weekend of Nov. 1, the band traveled to San Antonio, TX to compete in their final competition of the season, the Bands of America (BOA) Super Regional Competition. Out of the 84 bands that competed, the band placed forty-fifth overall with a score of 80.5, ending their season in the preliminary portion of the event.
“[Although] we didn’t make finals, it’s always nice to sit and watch some of the best bands in the state,” junior Huston Anderson explained.
Last year the band placed seventeenth at the BOA San Antonio Super Regional, so the huge drop in placement was a big shock to everyone, but overall the members were still proud of their last performance of the season.
“The turnout wasn’t what we expected,” sophomore Celeste Garcia stated. “[But] everyone was pretty happy with the performance, and I was really happy with it when we finished.”
Despite the changes in the show, directorial staff, and attitudes before the season started, varsity band members worked hard and had a great season. From creating new memories to learning how to adapt to the obstacles thrown in their way, the band ended strong and plans to start even stronger next year.
Below are some photos of marching band members throughout the fall season taken by yearbook photographers. These photos can be purchased at timbercreek.smugmug.com