Soaring Pride band advances to area

Junior front ensemble captain Cambry King plays Bizet’s Farandole during a rehearsal Friday, Oct. 19.

The band will compete in their area competition Saturday, Oct. 27 at Lowery Field in Lubbock.

Following the success of the High Plains Marching Festival competition, the Soaring Pride band competed in the regional marching competition Saturday, Oct. 20, receiving first division scores from all three judges.

“I think UIL results turned out really well,” band director David Lough said. “The show went as well as it could have for where we are in the season right now. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from various band directors from other schools, and all the feedback I’ve heard has been very positive. The band is amazing this year. They have been working hard since day one, and their recent successes really demonstrates that.”

The band is amazing this year. They have been working hard since day one, and their recent successes really demonstrate that.”

— David Lough, band director

Senior drum major Meghan Brooks said the goal of the band as they approach the area competition is to polish the show as much as possible.

“Our real focus this week is to keep moving forward and make the show as good as possible,” Brooks said. “ We want the people who see it to be able to see what the original composing of the show was supposed to be. We have to have our show clean to do that.”

Band director Eric Rath said remaining true to the original composition of each piece of source material is a priority of the band.

“I want people to feel like the music that we picked is really accessible,” Rath said. “I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that most people don’t listen to classical music as just their normal go-to, so what we are able to do with this show is let people hear that classical music.”

Rath said he wants the audience to love the music and the show as much as the band does.

“I also want people to say, ‘Wow, those kids can march and play really, really well,’” Rath said. “I want people to walk away and say, ‘That was breathtaking’ or, ‘That was awesome to listen to.’ People were moved emotionally from our show last year, and they’ll be moved emotionally again this year.”

People were moved emotionally from our show last year and I think they’ll be moved emotionally again this year.”

— Eric Rath, band director

Rath said “Opus” is an extremely special show.

“All of our shows are special in the design aspect,” Rath said. “Then they’re all special because of the bonds and relationships you create and the experiences you share with the students. From a design aspect, the thing that’s really special to me is how we are staging specific groups and highlighting specific strengths. Even some of the visual things like the treble clef tarp on the left side of the field, the ballet dancer, the way that the pairing visuals work to mimic the ‘Nutcracker’– I think there are so many things that we got right in this show.”

Rath said while “Opus” leaves room for audience interpretation, it is not an interpretive show.

“This show is not like last year when you were supposed to see certain storylines or get a feel for a sense of oppression becoming an uprising,” Rath said. “This is very different and in a lot of ways, very traditional. There are so many special moments we have all the way through the show. I love how we put our very best students out there. When everybody plays, it’s a different and contrasting sound. It’s very different from what we have done in terms of the way we approach the musical package, and I think that’s absolutely been a win for us in terms of the way it’s turning out.”

‘Opus’ is a celebration of what the Soaring Pride Band is capable of.”

— Cambry King, 11

The band must advance from the area contest Saturday in order to reach the state competition.

“I think we need to try to make the state marching contest, which I believe is very possible with this band,” Lough said. “We need to try to get into the finals–at least the top 10. We could do even better than that at the state contest if we do what I know the band is capable of doing.”

Lough said the band needs to use this week to clean as much of the show as possible.

“The goal right now is to clean every little detail we possibly can,” Lough said. “We’ve built the engine, we’ve put it in the car. Now we have to do all the cool stuff like window tinting, put on the decals and make it look really sweet. In band terms, we have to hit our lines, make forms look really clean, leave and arrive at our sets on time. Musically, we all have to be playing our instruments the same exact way so we can sound like a true ensemble.”

Junior front ensemble captain Cambry King said he wants to make every moment left in marching season count.

“I want people to feel the music and have it be a part of them so they can move the way they need to,” King said. “I want everything to make sense and mean something to them. This band is awesome, and we don’t know if this is the last week of rehearsals, which is scary. This could be our last one, so we are really having to cherish every moment.”

King said he believes “Opus” is a special show and the band is capable of achieving greatness with it.

“’Opus’ is a celebration of what the Soaring Pride Band is capable of,” King said. “I’ve seen this band since 2012, when my older brother started. The progression of shows between those days and now has been huge. Not that I’m harping on the past shows, because they were all great, but this show is a lot more complex and a lot harder to execute. That’s going to pay off. In fact, I think it is going to pay off in a way no edition of the Soaring Pride Band has seen yet.”