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Monday, May 16, 2022

Senior strong, the KHS Band heads to San Antonio

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Making their 5th State appearance in as many competitions, the Kennedale Wildcat Marching Band left today for San Antonio with a send-off of parents, friends, the KHS Cheer Team, snacks from the KHS football team and a police escort to the city limits. {{more}}
The 150 member strong band will compete tomorrow for the highly coveted title of State Champion as the ?Best Marching Band? in Class 4A.
The Marching Wildcats Band combines with the KHS Color Guard and the KHS Drumline to perform the show that they actually began well before school started in August.
Band members put in as many hours as any athletic sport, including personal/individual practices. Practice and drill sessions are conducted in the heat of August on the parking lot of Kennedale High School and continue with hours and hours of music practice.
Every step and every note of the show is coordinated so that the band performs as one. So much so that if something or someone is not in step or on note the whole band knows it without being told.
Since the state band competitions happen every other year, a Kennedale High School band member will get an opportunity to perform twice at state. That does not sound like much, but when you think that the overwhelming number of high school bands members across the state never get that opportunity even once in their four years, it is a rare experience.
Part of Kennedale’s success this year is the unusually large of numbers of seniors that have been with the program since their freshmen year.
The Kennedale News talked with three of the seniors who are in leadership roles in the band – Morgan Biscoe, Drumline Captain; Emma Reed, Color Guard Captain; and, Zoe Langston, Head Drum Major.
They all went as sophomores to State in 2012 and think that this year is different.

Biscoe, ?Much different, we are a lot more prepared. The last state year, we got really serious the week before state, this year we have had that same intensity level throughout our entire marching season.?

Reed, ?We have all been working really hard the whole season, not all of a sudden.?
There is a large number of freshmen in the band (50) this year with no experience with state competition. That presented a challenge to the senior members who set the goal of nothing less than a state championship. How did they deal with it?
Langston, ?From day one we told them [freshmen] that we wanted to be state champions and we need ?you? to want that too. And, they were like, alright I good with that. I think that they have been on board from day one with that goal.?
Being leaders of such a large band presents a challenge. What do you do?
Biscoe, ?Knowing that everyone is at a different level on playing their instruments and that people sometimes forget that we are all at different spots on our musicality [can be a big issue]. As captain, I have to be like a mediator, to help bring them up whenever they are messing up and say you just need to practice a little bit more and let them know that you can get this. At the same time, I have to hold some of the better people down, ? to be like, I know that you are getting really frustrated right now but they are really trying their hardest.?
Langston, ?I think that the big thing that we instill in all of our leadership to lead by example. And so, if we say we need you to run a lap around the building, I am not going stand here and watch you. ?I am going to run a lap with you.?
What about your performance on Monday?
Langston, ?I think we have a shot, one of the things that we have been trying to focus on this week at least in leadership, is not wishing that everyone else has a bad performance but to making ours the best performance. We feel very prepared this year. I think we are much more confident in our show?
Reed, quietly and emphatically, ?It [the show] is ready.?
Who did they want to give a shout out too.
All three agreed on all of their band directors but especially Mr. Oktay, because ?he has done so much and he is always there.?
A special appreciation also went to the high school football team because of their support this year.
The Marching Wildcats will perform 11:30 a.m. in preliminaries at at the Alamodrome. Finalists will be begin performing at 6:30 p.m with results announced at 9 p.m.

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