A marching show is an ensemble of instruments and color guard who combine music and visuals to please an audience. Marching season starts in late August, and when the band first gets show music, they work with discipline and Calallen pride in hopes of ultimately making it to state. This means the band works long, hard hours every day up until then.
“Because of our long tradition of excellence, there comes a tradition of long hours dedication,” senior mellophone Thomas Morin said. “But because of the long hard hours of work we put in, we now hold the title of one of the best bands in South Texas.”
This year the title of the Calallen marching show is Evolution, created to represent the evolution of music. It starts from visuals by the band and color guard with dark music, then to a ballad featuring the front ensemble, and ends with a company front impact.
“In the last moments of the second movement right before the big hit, there is always something so great about it,” senior alto saxophone Marcos Viera said. “The build up of music and then for it to be released all at once, it’s amazing. I knew when we did the turn around; I had given my very best performance.”
UIL has a set date when all bands are allowed to begin learning drill. The starting date for this year was August 1. The bands work on marching basics and music up until that day. Which means-Band Camp. Every marcher knows that this translates to early mornings, hot sun, white shirts, fitting shorts, water jugs, and whatever you do, do NOT forget your hat.
“It started out as a difficult challenge to overcome especially because I wasn’t able to do a lot of things outside of band camp,” freshman berry saxophone Andres Trevino said. “But once we started getting further into the season, and we started winning a bunch of competitions and stuff, I forgot about all the hot hours under the sun and realized that this was worth it.”
Summer hours go: parking lot - 8:30 a.m. to 12:00, lunch - 12:00 to 2:00, sectionals - 2:00 to 4:00, dinner block - 4:00 to 5:00, evening block - 5:00 to 8:00p.m. Even then, individuals take their instruments home to practice and memorize show music.
“A lot of the time I wouldn’t even want to take my euphonium home, but I would anyways and I would practice until it was time for bed,” junior euphonium Colten Schneider said. “If all of the band would have had my mind set of ‘I’m too tired,’ we wouldn’t be able to say we are one of the best. But we can.”
Of course since middle school there has always been friendly competition of which section is best. This works out to the advantage of the band. When the Calallen band proclaims to be the best, they follow through and work hard to prove themselves.
“I wouldn’t say the drumline is the best, but we are a very dedicated group,” senior center snare Brandon Hall said. “In fact, we are so dedicated we practice even outside of band hours as a section to become the best drumline we can be on the field.”
The band has made it victoriously through many competitions, from coming out as top band in the district to making it all the way to Preliminary in area.
“Bands of America, Conroe is my favorite, it was the first contest of the year that we won first in our class,” junior trumpet Lucas Cian said. “It was the first time we got to retreat with all the other bands from around the nation on the field.”
Through the rough summer sun to October’s heavy rains, nothing could stop the Calallen Band from performing their hardest. Performing in these conditions only made them stronger as a whole; to be even prepared to even march on the outskirts of a hurricane.
“The worst condition I have ever performed in was during my freshmen year,” senior tuba Ian Hoyle said. “We had a marching competition in Dallas, it was 35 degrees outside, sleeting, and all the brass players had their lips sticking to the mouth piece and fingers to their valves."
Being in band isn’t just work and no play, there is a lot of fun in it as well; between performances, bus rides, and run-throughs, the band bonds over CiCi’s pizza, or movie nights.
“Tubas like to dance, we have a lot of social activities outside of band, sometimes even with the band; we even had a movie night not too long ago,” senior tuba Holden Keys said. “Tubas hang out together as a section, we enjoy Friday nights at the games and even afterwards at CiCi’s.”
This elective is something not everyone may be able to handle. But for the ones who can, they come to realize there is nothing like it. After spending so much time with the same people every day they become somewhat of a second family. A home away from home.
“If music is something you enjoy, and you’re dedicated and hard working, band can become a really big love in your life,” senior percussionist Andrew Parrilla said. “It is one big, year long, social event; I have done the band thing for four years now, and I feel like it has played a really big roll in who I am today.”