With all of the focus that goes onto the athletes on the field for football we often forget that the band performers who only have a short halftime to perform for the crowd put in just as many hours, if not more, perfecting their craft. They are not the main attraction at a football game and every one of them knows this yet they perform their duty admirably, unfailingly precise, week in and week out. Before the entire town pours in their support to the Ballinger Bearcat football team I wanted to have a sit down with the High School Band Director Janet Wilson to find out more about this years squad.
Chad: At Pigskin you mentioned making the kids listen to Cyndi Lauper. Did you play some for them?
Janet: YES! I definitely spent time to introduce Cyndi Lauper to the band during summer band. HAHAHA We talked about how the purpose of show, from the composer/arranger, is to mimic life. You are born a blank slate and through experiences, successes, disappointments, and maturity, we individually get to decide what we will become as adults and the path our lives will take. Therefore, True Colors, became the theme from our composer/arranger.
Chad: That is very interesting! And of course everyone knows that football starts in the summer with two-a-days, but just when did the band start practicing?
Janet: We met for the first time with Freshman on July 29 and full band on August 1.
Chad: So they have actually been at it longer than the football players! I guess you could say you are excited about this season? What are your goals that the band has set?
Janet: We are really excited for this year. We have strong players throughout the band and there is a lot of intrinsic motivation already happening. When the students are leading and pushing the pace of progress, success happens faster. Our goals are to provide a really entertaining halftime that our community will be proud of. Then in October we will start contest season. This year is an advancement year for 3A bands. Assuming we do our job at UIL Region Contest, we will advance to the UIL Area round of marching and then would have to be in the top 3 places to advance to UIL State Contest. All of these rounds would be the ultimate goal!
Chad: I have a feeling this is going to be a great all around year for Ballinger! How many Seniors do we have this year?
Janet: We have 18 outstanding Seniors! They have great leadership skills and it is going to be so enjoyable to watch them grow and take ownership of their program.
Chad: That is a very good sized Senior class. Who are the Drum Majors going to be leading the band?
Janet: Head Drum Major is senior, Laura Brown and the assistant drum majors are, senior Jenna Rossignol, and junior, Emma Cullen.
Chad: And who is on the color guard?
Janet: Colorguard captain is senior, Elyssa Korn-Flores, and members are senior, Sarah Booher and Junior Jersey Perkins.
Chad: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Janet: I am so appreciative to Matthew Cleveland for his work with JH to prep them for HS band and for his help in making the HS program run. Several people assist throughout the season who are vital to making every piece happen. Deidra Dallas, guard sponsor. Brian Owen – music tech. Paige Geiselman – student teacher. Bearcat Band Boosters are amazing and the program would not be what it is without them.
Chad: Janet, thank you and good luck this season.