Band busy with competitions throughout spring semester


photo or infographic by Emily Meachen

DIAMONDS. Practicing for their first competition, sophomore Bella Gallegos and junior Faith Diaz of the guard polish their show before Saturday’s competition in Katy. The guard will also host a competition on March 5.

The lights shut off, the buses are loaded and the band departs the stadium. Marching season is officially over. The band is nowhere near being finished, however. In fact, a whole other season is about to begin. Concert season.

While the band’s most visible performances take place during a marching routine, a large majority of the band’s time and work are toward smaller, more concentrated groups within the band, such as concert band and wind ensemble.

“So when marching season ends the next part of the season is holiday stuff like the holiday concert,” head band director Joseph Dittfurth said. “Then we get into the spring where we get ready for UIL and the three UIL pieces and work towards our  sit down regular stage band type stuff. That usually is kind of our driving focus through the spring and then we have a few other things around the edges of that like solo and ensemble.”

This weekend the percusion will compete in an indoor percussion contest at Pasadena Memorial.

“I am hoping the weather doesn’t cancel this contest,” junior Tony Silverio said. “We have been working on the show for several weeks.”

During the concert season, separate sections of the band perform independently of the greater whole in different competitions, UIL and other musical events.

“In jazz band we practice charts which are basically songs,” senior Douglas Fairbanks said. “Right now we are trying to pick out some stuff for festivals where we’ll perform in the spring. We also just got done with the musical. All the music was done by the jazz band. Basically what we do is practice music and perform it.”

BEHIND THE CURTAIN. Warming up before the final performance of “Grease,” the jazz band led by director Aly Clarabut, prepares to be the music behind the songs. Jazz band also competes in competitions in the spring semester. (photo or infographic by Emily Meachen)

Playing instruments is not the only thing the band specializes in. Color guard, the group who performs the visual aspects that complement the band’s music during marching season, also has their own competition season.

“We are almost done with our full show,” senior Hailey Alvarez said, “We are cleaning our choreography and changing some to look better. Our first show will be Feb. 5th at Katy High School. We will be performing at 11:41.”

The color guard is hosting a competition on March 5. Preparing to host and participate in a competition is not easy; however, certain factors must be taken into account such as how many students will be participating, where the competition will take place and where to find judges.

“Hosting a competition is a busy day for the guard,” Alvarez said, “The day before the contest, we will have practice and then we have to get the school ready for the other guards to come. We have to put a huge floor that TCGC brings and we have to tape it on the floor. We also put tape along the hallways that will be used by other guards so they know where to go. We also have lots of jobs for members and volunteers to do. We usually stay at the school until around 9 or 10 p.m. because we have to clean everything up after.”

The life of a band member is never uneventful, and, with the constant work required to maintain the level of expertise demanded by band life, is never boring.

“So we have had pretty tight rehearsals the past couple of weeks since we have our concert at the end of February” sophomore Maddie Carrol said. “We’ve been trying to cram all the music in so we can get it sounding as best as possible.”