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Striking a New Chord

In+the+Area+C+UIL+marching+competition%2C+the+band+made+15th+out+of+24+competing+bands+in+an+area+that+boasts+multiple+state+finalists+every+year.+Talon+Photo+by+Brantley+Graham
In the Area C UIL marching competition, the band made 15th out of 24 competing bands in an area that boasts multiple state finalists every year. Talon Photo by Brantley Graham

In the Area C UIL marching competition, the band made 15th out of 24 competing bands in an area that boasts multiple state finalists every year. Talon Photo by Brantley Graham

In the Area C UIL marching competition, the band made 15th out of 24 competing bands in an area that boasts multiple state finalists every year. Talon Photo by Brantley Graham

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By Rose Nagele

Sitting in the parking lot of the Mesquite Memorial Stadium, the Golden Eagle Marching Band cheered and laughed as their director, Jesus Marquez, danced and whooped after revealing the results of the most important competition of the past 2 years.

In the Area C UIL marching competition, the band made 15th out of 24 competing bands in an area that boasts multiple state finalists every year.

“The fact that we got to area and got to perform at such a high level with all the bands that we have, I think that says a lot about where we’re at and where we’re going,” Marquez said.

In his second year at the helm, Marquez has continued to institute changes that have had the effect of taking the band to the next level.

“I think the directors took a much more serious approach this year,” senior brass captain Nicholas Crothers said. “In the past years it was just a bit too lax. But this year, because they pushed us harder, the whole band program worked harder and the show was more successful.”

In late July, the 2016 leadership team – consisting of section leaders and drum majors – sat down with the directors and set up goals for the upcoming season based on what they wanted from the program.

“I think the biggest impact was the leadership team wanting the band to be very good,” Marquez said. “That was what set the tone from the very beginning.”

The 23 team members were there to support the entire band.

“I feel the leadership team this year was extremely connected and willing to work together,” junior Anna Fitzgerald said. “Working with them didn’t feel like a job – it felt like I was hanging out with some of my best friends.”

Band members said that it wasn’t just the hard work on the field that was important to them – the opportunities and memories that each director and member helped create significantly impacted their lives.

“They have greatly shaped the person I am today, and I couldn’t imagine having gained this much from any other organization,” Wilkins said.

Seniors said they are proud having helped to create a new tradition of excellence.

“I’m very proud to say that this is the product that I put on in my last year at Richardson High School,” Crothers said. “Even though I’m looking forward to seeing what the band program does in the future, I’m really happy that I’m leaving on a good note.”

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Striking a New Chord