Rising to the Challenge


Meleah York, Staff Writer

It is night time. The bands participating in finals are warming up their instruments and their cold fingers. The light from a streetlamp in the parking lot pierces brightly across the backs of grey and dark blue uniforms, and the crisp white plumes seem to shine. Other bands are playing, banging on drums, or gliding mallets across marimbas, yet the Keller High School marching band has come forward towards the center of their arc to face a ladder where their band director stands. The band is focused on the director speaking amidst all of the noise. They cannot see him talking, they only feel the hand of the person behind them on their shoulder, but they listen to each word spoken. He goes on to say words they keep hearing: “this band is a family”, “we perform our hearts out for the person next to us”; things they know and take to heart. But it is in this huddle where they realize the true meaning of where they stood, warming up for a Bands of America competition: finals, to be exact.

On October 8th, the Keller Band competed in the Bands of America Plano marching contest. Out of the the thirty-one extremely talented and well-known bands, Keller made it to the final ten, placing sixth overall. This was one of the first major competitions for the band, their final show being considered one of their best runs by the band members. But they aren’t going to stop pushing limits anytime soon.

At the Birdville Marching Contest on September 24th, Keller placed third in prelims out of nine bands, an achievement that they were proud of, yet they felt as if they could do more. Although hyped up by discussing improvements as a band and to have a second chance for a better run, finals were, sadly, cancelled due to lightning. Even still, the band continued to work hard during rehearsals the week following Birdville, and that sweat and dedication paid off on October 8th.

But the success at BOA Plano was a shortly celebrated victory. The Indian band was right back to work on Monday evening, continuing to mold and add on to their show’s stunning visuals and brilliant musicality. In the Keller marching band, there is always room for improvement, no matter if they are placed first or dead last. This group of young people are extremely talented, dedicated to what they do, and with the way that they practice and work hard every afternoon, they can only be expected to “Ascend” to new heights.