The Keller Indian Band had its best showing yet in the largest classification at the UIL State Marching Championship Nov. 8-9 in San Antonio.
The Keller High marching group placed fifth out of the top 40 6A bands in Texas. In 2014, Keller was tenth. This was the band’s sixth straight trip to state, placing 11th in 2012 and finishing 18th or 19th in previous years. The highest finish was in 1999 when the school was in the 4A classification and placed second. Bands compete at state every other year, divided by classifications.
Mark McGahey, head band director, said he was very pleased with the progression and the expectations of his student musicians that they will go to state and do well.
“We talk about it a lot,” McGahey said. “It’s really neat to see this become part of the culture, and we practice at this level.”
He said he knew this year’s group would perform well because of the drive to improve the show each time the band took the field, whether at a football game or contest.
The band’s show this year was called “Ascend,” with visual themes of clouds and ladders to represent striving for new heights. Music selections included movie soundtracks from “The Walk,” about a tightrope walker, and Mel Gibson’s “Signs” and an original composition by Texas Lutheran Professor Carol Brittin Chambers.
Acrobatic trumpet player Paden Davisson performed flips and split leaps in one of the unique show elements. A dynamic visual prop, a blue circle 35 yards in circumference with a cloud printed on it, floated up and down to the music, with color guard soloist Ashley Myrick performing on a ladder above the “cloud.”
Drum major Caryl Klemann, a KHS senior, said, “It was a really unique experience. To see all the seemingly insignificant details that go into it to really make it great, and the passion and dedication in all those practices just comes together.”
Klemann said the band has gotten better in each of her four years at Keller High. Some 275 students participated in the Indian Band this fall, and they become “like family” over the course of marching season.