LBJ band marches to victory in competitions across the city and state

Maya Ravi, Club Writer

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Sequenced uniforms shine under the bright lights of the football field, as the LBJ Marching Band makes its way across the field. The play and move in unison, showing off the hard work they put in preparing for their performance.

The LBJ Marching Band has outperformed their expectations this season, according to LBJ Band Head Director Brian Mayer. The Band ended up winning fourth place at UIL this year. The also won awards for best music, best general effect and closed the season with an award-winning performance at the U.S. Bands competition in Round Rock, Texas. The very first performance was the one that set the stage for the success of the season, according to drum major Emma Pinsky.

“I know I will definitely remember the first contest we went to this year when we swept first place and won 4 out of 5 caption awards,” Pinsky said. “It was at that competition that I understood how special this season was going to be.”

That first performance set a high standard for the rest of the season, but according to Mayer, the band’s performances continued to exceed expectations throughout the season.

“The band committed to the idea that every performance needed to be better than the one before,” Mayer said. “Their greatest success was never settling, but always pushing to be even better. This drive to be great was recognized by the judges at each contest that we attended.”

According to Mayer, that drive that pushed the band throughout the season built up all the way through to their last performance.

“The moment that I will remember forever, is seeing everyone in the band thrilled and celebrating our final performance as soon as we exited the field,” Mayer said. “Everyone knew that we had our best performance of the year. That we had done it. That was the best performance of the year.”

According to Pinsky, there are many ways that a performance can be considered amazing. Specifically, the aspect of the band’s performance at the Texas Marching Classic that made it so phenomenal wasn’t only the preciseness of the show, but also the fact that it was a shared experience among the band. It was that notion of knowing that every band member had shared the performance that made it all the more impactful.

“We all had dedicated so much time to this beautiful product of a marching show,” Pinsky said. “That’s why being able to go out onto the field and show everybody what the LBJ Band is about by giving it our all and leaving everything on the field was the best feeling I have ever had in marching band.”

Moments like walking off the field at the Texas Marching Classic were what made the season so special for the band. According to Pinsky, the feeling of success and pride isn’t just luck but is due to the incredible energy that has perpetuated through this season.

“I am very happy that this is the show I get to end my high school marching career on and that the band had such an energy through the season that I will keep with me forever,” Pinsky said. “The energy throughout the band program this year has really been what shaped the season and the people involved with it. The energy to keep working to be better and to do something to your fullest potential with your friends is something that I will use a lot as I move on from high school.”

However, according to drum major Josh Kreth, the season’s most memorable moment didn’t have to be a performance, and could even be something like the band’s warm up before a competition.

“One memory I’m thinking of is during warm-ups at our US Bands, when we did our visual warm-up routine,” Kreth said. “The other band near us just stared as we all moved in unison to Harder Better Faster Stronger. I looked out at my fellow band members and saw so many smiles. We made such a good show and won so many awards this season, but that didn’t hold us back from having more fun than any other band I know.”

Each year, the environment of the leadership changes as the senior drum majors graduate and the role is passed down to the next set of student leaders. One of the factors that made this season so impactful for Pinsky was that it was her turn to take the role of drum major for the band.

“The other part of this year is that I have become the advice giver instead of recipient,” Pinsky said. “Being able to pass on my knowledge and tips to help see somebody I care for succeed is one of the things I like to do best in the band program because I know I am continuing that family legacy.”

According to Mayer, the band’s collective accountability and dedication were what made this season take the spotlight compared to shows they’ve marched in the past.

“Every year carries with it slight changes, but I think that their was a mutual trust, and a culture of we are going to work hard for each other,” Mayer said. “That we were going to put in every ounce of ourselves because we care about each other, and about the program being great. I was thrilled with what the band program accomplished this year, and the culture of hard work and dedication that they created.”

In addition to accountability, it was each band member’s continuous attitude of striving to do better with each rehearsal that made the season stand out, according to Kreth.

“This marching season was by far the best of any of the seasons I’ve been a part of with the LBJ Band. It just seemed like everyone was committed to working hard every day during practice,” Kreth said. “And because of that, we created a show much better than any of the others I’ve been a part of. We made so much more progress so much earlier in the season as compared to previous years, and we never stopped pushing. We really got better every day, and especially near the end, it showed that it was almost a new band program this year.”