The Student News Site of Willis High School

The Voice of the Wildkats

The Student News Site of Willis High School

The Voice of the Wildkats

The Student News Site of Willis High School

The Voice of the Wildkats

Band marches into contest

UIL competition today at Woodforest Stadium
photo or infographic by Jack
FLUTE ON THE FIELD. Standing with the marching band, senior Hannah Hutchins plays the flute while performing the UIL routine on Friday Night.

The cheerleaders cheer their hearts out, the student section screams with spirit and the drill team dances gracefully across the field. One organization is responsible for the sound of Friday night lights. 

After weeks of contests, months of practice and hours and hours under the hot Texas sun, the band competes today at their UIL contest. They will march this afternoon at Woodforest Stadium with their show Rhapcity.

The marching band is part of an organization that competes in bands all across the state. Bands of America is one of the contest the band looks forward to because of its reputation of excellence. 

“Bands of America is a nationwide organization marching contest company with the goal of making the band more enjoyable for high school band students,” senior Jaydyn Lightfoot said. “It’s like the DCI of a high school marching band.”

Since the band has been practicing, there are a few extra commitments with a new season. 

“Our rehearsal schedule has been the same as all the other weeks except we had to go home and keep learning and cleaning up the rest of the show,” senior James Bagwell said. “The rehearsals were from 3:30-6:00 on the weekdays, but on the day of the rehearsal it was from 6:00 am and it lasted for about an hour.”

With the extra commitments, this created a hectic schedule for some.

“It has been really difficult for me recently due to the amount of schoolwork, work time and band commitments,” junior Faith Nichols said. “I am in dual credit classes that require me to do work outside of school and work every weekend. I recently discontinued working at my job to alleviate some stress and I’m doing much better now.”

This hectic schedule didn’t just start overnight but in the summer months. Band members tend to work really hard in order to do their best. 

“We started practicing in the summer and have been preparing for it for a while,” junior Prema Dabi said. “Honestly, practices weren’t that bad in the summer, it was kinda chill and wasn’t as bad as state. The summer heat was a little exhausting but okay and doable.”

While the band works tirelessly to bring music and life to football games, their contests are usually the day after a football game which can create a challenge for some. 

“It was challenging for everyone to be at the school at 5 A.M. after being dismissed at 11 P.M. the night before after our team game against Cleveland but we managed,” Lightfoot said. “We definitely saw a lot of coffee that morning but our motivation came from our student leaders as well as our staff and parents. Without all of them, none of this would have been possible.”

Nonetheless, the marching band did quite well in last week’s competition. 

“Looking at the scores, we actually did very well! We were not very far behind some of the other schools, but I still think we could have performed better,” Bagwell said. “We plan to work on performing better as a group and keeping our ears and eyes open to the people around us.”

Not only were the students proud of their performance but director Joseph Dittfurth was even more proud.

“I’m super proud of the effort that our students have put in both on the field and off. At BOA we really stepped out of our program’s comfort zone and put ourselves on a much more competitive stage than has happened since pre-COVID,” director Dittfurth said. “The students performed extremely well and represented the program, school, community and their families in a very positive way.”

With one contest out of the way, many more await these musicians.

“We have upcoming contests including Lone Star Preview next week and Region Contest a few days after that,” Lightfoot said. “We also practiced the rest of our drill on the field at our rehearsals during fall break.

As the final season for seniors comes around, this creates some bittersweet memories up ahead. 

“I am extremely excited for the upcoming competition. It’s honestly unreal. I have been in the marching band all of high school, and now it’s finally coming to an end.” senior Lilly Galarneau said.  “I loved marching band and when I became a drum major junior year, I found a new passion. Everyone sees band kids as weird. We are, but we are hardworking. I’m going to miss my band family, but as a senior I know that they will be okay as long as they keep working hard and don’t forget that we are all human. I love my band family.”

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About the Contributor
Jackie Diaz
Jackie Diaz, VOW Staff
Jackie is a senior this year and is on both the newspaper and yearbook staff. Along with the yearbook and newspaper, Jackie is also involved in NHS, STUCO, UIL Persuasive Speech, UIL Journalism, Interact, and is 2x Vice president of DECA. Last year Jackie placed 2nd in editorial writing and qualified for regionals. After high school, Jackie plans on attending Blinn College and then transfer to TAMU. It is also a known fact that Jackie is obsessed with Chick-fil-A and despises ranch dressing. You can reach her at [email protected]
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    ellaOct 17, 2023 at 1:39 PM