Panther Band’s SFA performance gets rave reviews

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The Bullard High School Panther Marching Band recently returned from performing on one of the largest stages in East Texas after receiving an invitation to perform during the halftime intermission at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Homer Bryce Stadium.

“The chance to perform at a collegiate football game like we were afforded at SFA is a tremendous opportunity for our band program and our students,” said Gary Jordan, Bullard ISD Director of Bands. “I knew it would be a great experience because not many high school bands have the opportunity to share a halftime performance with a collegiate band with a packed home team audience.

With the invitation to perform in hand, the Panther Band loaded the buses and instrument trailer and embarked on the one-hour excursion to Nacogdoches on Saturday, Sept. 16, to perform at the halftime of the SFA Lumberjack football game against the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals.

According to Jordan, the Panther Band received the special invitation to perform at SFA after having a conversation and brainstorming the idea 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. When this opportunity presented itself to us, it was something I couldn’t say no to doing.”

While at SFA for the day’s events, the Panther Band also performed down the streets of the campus during the game day parade along with the SFA cheerleaders, pom squad, band, and the SFA Alumni Band, along with attending the pre-game tailgating.

“Marching in the game day parade was a lot of fun because it went right through the heart of the campus, from one side to another,” said Jordan. “I graduated from SFA and the parade from the music building to the stadium is something I remember quite well. It’s a big deal because it’s a part of the tailgating and helps to create that game day atmosphere at SFA with the band, cheerleaders, and dance teams.”

On the field this season, the Panther Band is performing 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.

Jordan said the highlight of the trip was the response from the SFA home fans after the Panther Band’s halftime performance as the band marched off the field.

“We had a great performance,” said Jordan. “What was more exciting than anything was the response we received from the crowd in the stadium, as well as the reaction from the members of the SFA Lumberjack Band. During the performance, the crowd really responded well to the performance of our feature twirler, as well as the points of the drill where we march our XO drill going into our waterfall move, as well as the starburst form and closing fanfare. When we marched off the field, the crowd gave us a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes. Also, after halftime while we were making our way back into the stands, the SFA band, who performed after our band, stood up and congratulated the Panther Band on our performance; that meant a lot to me, as the director, as well as our band program to have that level of respect from a collegiate band program.”

During the game, the Panther Band traded off musical performances with the Lumberjack Band, performing several well-known stands tunes at Panther varsity football games, including Powerline, ESPN, Face the Bass, and Rock the Stands.

“It was just a great time and a great atmosphere for us to be a part of at the stadium,” said Jordan. “We had a great sound throughout our performances, which really impressed a lot of people. Several times, I was approached by directors of the SFA Band telling me how great they believed our performance was.”

According to Jordan, the performance by the Panther Band at the SFA football game’s halftime could potentially result in music performance scholarships for current Panther Band members.

“I believe our performance at SFA will allow some of our Panther Band members to receive scholarships,” said Jordan. “With the UIL Regional and Area Marching Band Contests at Homer Bryce Stadium last year, that’s really when the SFA band directors began to notice our program. Through that, the SFA wind ensemble came to Bullard and played a concert as a part of their East Texas tour. SFA is trying to build a beneficial relationship with our band program, and we already have several Panther Band alumni in the SFA band program such as Matthew Riley and Vickie Kenock, as well as two of our former twirlers, Hannah Reschke and Codie Lovelady, as members of the Twirl-o-Jacks. Our junior and senior band members have the chance to get some money to fund their college education if they pursue it.”

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 Haning, 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.

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.

Up next for the Bullard High School Panther Marching Band will be several performance opportunities, including marching in the Starlight Parade at the State Fair of Texas Friday, Oct. 6 in Dallas; Mineola Invitational Marching Contest Monday, Oct. 9 at Mineola High School; Royse City Marching Classic Saturday, Oct. 14 at Royse City High School; UIL Region 21 Marching Band Contest Saturday, Oct. 21 at Longview High School; Bullard’s Red, White, and Blue Festival Parade Saturday, Nov. 4 in downtown Bullard; and the National Association of Military Marching Bands contest, also on Nov. 4, at SFA’s Homer Bryce Stadium.

The Panther Band program will end the 2017-2018 fall semester with the program’s annual Christmas concerts scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 7 (Middle School), Tuesday, Dec. 12 (Intermediate School), and Thursday, Dec. 14 (High School).

For more information about the Bullard Panther Band program, “like” the Bullard Bands Facebook page or email Jordan at gary.jordan@bullardisd.net.

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