What are you doing at 7am before school? Some of you might still be sleeping; many others might be at practices for one of the countless sports teams Ursuline girls participate in. We all have friends in UA sports like lacrosse or soccer or even other well-known activities like Rangerettes and Cistercian Cheer. However, there is one sport that is not as much in the spotlight, at least not until the Friday night football games come around. From daily 7am practices to Friday night lights, here is the secret life of the Jesuit Ursuline band girls.
Band is a yearlong sport, and exists in two parts: marching season and concert season. It is pretty self-explanatory in that marching season goes on as long as the Jesuit football season does, and the rest of the year is made up of preparing for the Christmas concert and then spring concert. Each year the theme for the next year’s show is announced at banquet in May, with this year’s show being “Freedom and Brotherhood” in honour of 75 years of Jesuit.
Practices are spent reviewing music and learning spots for the next movements of the show, which are added into the performance about every other week. This year’s show consists of 5 movements altogether.
As far as marching season goes, rehearsals take place at Jesuit each morning from 7am-8:15am, and then the girls drive on over to Ursuline before first period class. This leads to turf, wet grass, and even orange spray paint from the yard marks on the practice field being tracked across the school (sorry, everyone!).
The band also participates in two contests, which are Little Elm’s Classic on the Lake and the TPSMEA State Marching Contest. Although Little Elm takes place in the beginning of October, the TPSMEA contest often coincides the same day as the homecoming dance, leading to many rushed and frantic girls struggling to get that perfect dance look in nearly under an hour.
The girls in band are basically split into two groups: the ones who play an instrument in the band, and the ones in colour guard. Those girls who twirl the flags in sparkly dresses around the marching show? Yup, that’s the colour guard. These girls not only participate in every band rehearsal during marching season, but also work on their own during concert season to prepare for national contests.
Many band kids, including the girls, also participate in other activities around our schools as well, including softball, theatre, and orchestra. Yet, they still find something special in the community of the band.
“Since it is every day and therefore a huge time commitment, everyone who’s there really wants to be there,” said colour guard lieutenant Lauren DeVore, ’18, on what sets the group apart from other organisations. Additionally, she said that the time commitment plays a role in making friendships more tight-knit and creating a more fun work environment.
But the experience of being in band as a girl is quite different than the boys’ experience. Sure, knee-length khaki shorts and polo of the summer uniform are not as attractive on us, but there is also a sense of community and a special bond between the two schools.
“I feel like with the band I get the best of both worlds,” said senior percussionist Hope Moody on the dynamic between Jesuit and Ursuline. She said she enjoys the all-girls environment of UA, but also added, “I have many guy friends and I see them every day, and I’m able to have a very close friendship with them. I’ve gotten to meet many Jesuit boys who share my passion for music.”
Boys are fun and all, but what keeps driving the girls for those early mornings filled with sometimes out-of-tune instruments, marching drills facing the sun, and turf all over your clothes? “My favourite part of band is probably working together, with all my friends, and creating an entire show,” said senior flute Mallory Rasco. That sums it all up.
At the end of the day, it’s all about that special feeling of creating something bigger than yourself.
From stepping out under the first Friday night lights of the year with the taps of the La’me drumline cadence to stand dances lead by the flute section, every day together brings more crazy memories in those black plumed hats. The ringing of yelling as the drum majors drill the band on the positions of attention reminds us why we are here, as every game night ends with the same strong statement: “WHO ARE WE?” “RANGER BAND!”