Drive by Deer Park High School (DPHS)on any given school day after four pm, and you would hear and see music and colors flowing from hundreds of students as they practice for a chance to compete with many other bands from across Texas at the state competition.
For the DPHS band, the chance to go to state comes only once every two years, because they only get a chance every other year, that year becomes much more intense.
“Non-state years are a little more relaxed, this year everyone either doesn’t care or gets stressed out more than they should I change [between] those positions quite often,” Adam Delafield, a senior in the Baritone Section of the band, said. “But just because it was a non state year doesn’t mean we were completely relaxed, we were still stressed, just slightly less stressed.”
The band practices from the last week of July, through the end of football season everyday after school. During the summer the days stretch from 7am to 4pm. Once school starts, students practice during their individual class periods and after school rom 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Some students grades may suffer because of this intense schedule, but to them it is all worth it with the reward of the contest season.
“We did do a lot of beneficial things to help us prepare us for this marching season… Having practice in the hottest parts of the day, lots of cardio, and different exercises help us condition ourselves to perform our show with the highest intensity,” Julia Davis, Drum Major, said.
As well as performing at nearly every football game on Friday nights, the band has various contests. If won the band will continue on the path to state. The band is scored on quality of music, marching formations and fundamentals plus various other things. Last year, at the annual UIL Marching Contest, the band got straight ones, the highest possible score to receive. This desire to get the perfect score weighs immensely on the marchers, the directors and the drum majors.
Though it cant be said for sure how the band will do this year at contest, the group can only hope to do the best they can do while Deer Park High School cheers them on from the stands.