The Bullard High School Panther Marching Band is receiving an opportunity to perform on one of the largest stages in East Texas, as the organization will take the field at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Homer Bryce Stadium.
The Panther Band will serve as part of the halftime performance when the SFA Lumberjacks take on the Incarnate Word Cardinals Saturday, Sept. 16.
According to Bullard High School Director of Bands Gary Jordan, the opportunity to play at a collegiate football game is an occurrence that has not taken place in his 23 years at the helm of the band.
“We’ve never taken part in anything like this,” said Jordan. “It’s a unique opportunity for the Panther Band program to play on a larger field and one of the premier universities in Texas. We’re a little used to playing at SFA because that’s where we have our Regional Marching Band contest most years, but it’s a little different; the kids are a little nervous because they’re going to perform in front of the home crowd where there could be 10,000 people or more. Despite the anxiousness, we’re excited about the chance to play at a collegiate game.”
In addition to the band’s performance during the game’s halftime intermission, the Panther Band will perform in the stands for one quarter of the contest.
Jordan said the chance to play at halftime at SFA came about thanks to a conversation with Dr. David Campo, director of the SFA Lumberjack Marching Band.
“This opportunity to play at SFA came to be after I talked with Dr. Campo at our Region meeting last year,” said Jordan. “I asked him if it would ever be possible for a high school band to come and share a halftime with the Lumberjack Band during football games where the opposing school doesn’t bring a band. He said it was something he would like to think about doing. I called him and we picked a day that would work for both bands. We also have several alumni of the Panther Band performing with the SFA band including Matthew Riley, Vickie Kenock, and two members of the SFA Twirl-o-Jacks in Hannah Reschke and Codie Lovelady. When this opportunity presented itself to us, it was something I couldn’t say no to doing.”
On the field this season, the Panther Band will perform a precision military drill to Sweet Land of Liberty, arranged by Hawthorne; Invictus March, by King; The Purple Pageant March, by King; Battle Hymn, arranged by Richards; and Finale of Sweet Land of Liberty, arranged by Hawthorne.
Members of the 2017-2018 Bullard High School Panther Band include drum majors Katy Kuczkowski (Head Drum Major), Megan McCoy (Assistant Head Drum Major), Emily Dean (Assistant Drum Major), and Sarah Doyle (Assistant Drum Major); flutes Whitney Buckley, Mary Ehrman, Emily Ekins, Madeline Ekins, Kylie Engle, Jara Galvan, Kaylee Graves, Belinda Guy, Jessica Lundgren, Madison Sheppard, and Grace Stanley; clarinets Carissa Crocker, Shyanne Gage, Julehissa Galvan, Julie Hopkins, Leighann Langston, Harlie Lansford, Serenity Mahannah, Paton McBride, Hailey McCutcheon, Madison Rippy, Kylah Roberts, and Miranda Rowan; alto saxophones Maegan Bochow, Emory Jackson, Darin Nguyen, Justin Rogers, and Dalton Wilson; tenor saxophones Bailey Bower, Lily Bunger, Levi Ehrman, Joseph Hudson, Hayley Medders, and Jessica Perez; trumpets Elijah Allen, Isaac Angulo, Jon Bellanger, Tyler Buchman, Charity Campbell, Caleb Carmichael, Koby Dockter, Chloe Duvak, Jacob Edwards, Brianna Guy, Brayden Herrington, McKenzie Hickey, Preston Holloway, Chris Ives, Nicholas Mayo, Ethan Medley, Landen Medley, Colby Ratekin, Mason Skidmore, Jesse Smith, Alek Terho-Streck, James Tijerina, Taner Tribbey, and Antonio Vidal; French horns Allison Carter, Tres Cotter, Jordyn Loe, Meadow Loe, Angela Martinez, and Blake Seib; trombones Brody Bradshaw, Christian Butler, J.C. Craft, Noah Grundy, Parker Jacobs, Christian Lundgren, Jason Oliveaux, Dylan Price, Logan Reichert, Austin Rutledge, Isaac Sanders, Rachel Shumate, Hannah Sieben, Christian Stephens, Trenton Taylor, Daniel Tubb, and Joseph Woolard; baritones Zach Arroyo, Colton Berryhill, Mackenzie Cloud, Emily Coyne, Ryan Crossman, Patrick Granberry, Dillon Hooker, Beverly Howard, Luke Kersey, Trevor Parham, Adam Skanes, and Clayton Wardlaw; tubas Domenic Evans, Tanner Hathaway, Chase Jacobs, Jacob Lundgren, Blake Morris, Madelene Rogers, and Brice Strickland; snare drums William Brown, Brandon Duecker, Caleigh Hiltz, William Kuczkowski, and Austin Sleeman; bass drums Tyler Baker, Weston McCullough, Trey Red, Hannah Stewart; cymbals Drew Adams, Allan Covey, Hannah Hanning, Ruben Lundgren, Kaitlin Ritch, Caitlin Smith, and Bailey Tito; and twirlers Kassidy Robertson (Head Twirler), Lillian Bloxom (Feature Twirler), Katie Campbell, Mariah Fretwell, Megan Hodge, Kaylee Homan, Haylee Nish, Haley Smith, Anja Terho-Streck, Stella Vaughn, Allyson Wilcox, and Chloe Williams.
According to Jordan, the SFA performance opportunity has caused the band to have an “all hands on deck” approach in preparing for this marching season.
“It’s really kind of early in the year for us to have the entire drill on the field, but we’re planning on having it done quickly,” said Jordan. “We’ve actually learned the entire drill as of last week, but we’re not putting it all on the field for the first game. By the second and third games, we’ll have everything on the field drill-wise. The excitement for the performance has really created a hunger for the and to get ready; the attitude and the way they are approaching this performance is very rewarding for me as a band director because they really want to do a good job.”
According to Jordan, the hard work and preparation for the performance has been led by the band’s four drum majors.
“Our drum majors have done just a tremendous job,” said Jordan. “I knew they were going to be a great drum major unit, but they have definitely exceeded my expectations this year. They did a great job at leading throughout our freshman marching band camp, as well as our summer band cap with the entire band present. These young ladies are great teacher and examples; every day they are here, they help to make our band better.”
Also performing at the SFA versus Incarnate Word game will be the SFA Alumni Band, who will take care of the pregame performance responsibilities.
Jordan said with exposure at the collegiate level, his band members potentially could receive scholarships to SFA through this performance opportunity.
“I really want to have more Panther Band members become future SFA band members, become students in the music department, and also just go to school at SFA, regardless of their major,” said Jordan. “It’s a wonderful university; I’m part of the alumni at SFA myself, so I know firsthand how great the school is. With this chance to perform at SFA, I’m hoping that some of our band members will be able to catch the eyes of the SFA band directors and maybe be able to earn a scholarship based on this performance.”
The Bullard High School Panther Band is under the direction of Jordan, and assisted by assistant band directors Samantha Clendenny, Chris Murray, and Cameron Warren.
In addition to the performance at SFA, the Bullard High School Panther Marching Band performs at all Bullard Panther varsity football games, pep rallies, as well as various marching contests and parade events throughout the year.