For the first time since moving up to the largest classification, the Keller High School Indian Band made the finals at the University Interscholastic League’s State Marching Band Championship Nov. 4 in San Antonio.
“It’s been a goal for a long time, something we’ve been shooting for,” Head Director Mark McGahey said.
In 1999, the Indian Band was the state runner-up in the 4A classification, just before moving up to the largest group of schools. The band went to state in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, moving up in the rankings each time. Classifications alternate years at state, with 4A and 6A competing this year, and 2A, 3A and 5A next year.
Some 37 6A bands competed at the state contest; Keller finished tenth. Flower Mound Marcus won for the fifth consecutive time.
Keller High’s show, “Reality is Relative,” uses dream-like music such as “Once Upon a Dream” from the movie “Maleficent” and Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” and fantasy visual elements.
The colorguard uniforms and props are made from the same material and appear to “melt together,” McGahey said. “The show gave us some of our more memorable moments, and it was something people really responded to.”
McGahey, his assistant directors Frank Chapple, Ryan Heath and Daniel Bloss plus another dozen or so instructors and technicians put the show together, starting the previous February. They work out movement on the field through the summer.
Beginning with band camp in August, musicians start practicing to perfect the show and peak at the right time.
Once the marching season begins, parents play a big role chaperoning, helping carry props and providing food.
Taking the show on the road to San Antonio was a big production and required five charter buses, two 24-foot box trucks and semi.
“We’re very proud of the Keller High Indian Band, ” Fine Arts Director Kim Blann said.
Directors, students and parents all worked hard to get the group to state and did a great job of representing the Keller school district, she said.
“They had a way of making every moment special,” Blann said. “It will be something they’re going to remember for a very long time.”