The Legacy Christian Academy Screamin’ Eagle Marching Band brought home the TPSMEA Class II State Marching Band Grand Champion title last weekend. The state title win this year was hard fought as the Screamin’ Eagles moved up a division to compete in Class II, against bigger bands. Director of Bands, Andy Murphy, knew early in the season that, with a greater number of wind instruments and a larger band overall, they would be moving up a division and that really amplified up the pressure on everyone. They delivered more than just the State Championship, also coming home with the highest rating, superior, in the following categories:
The road to the state title begins in the early spring with music selection. Mr. Murphy works with an arranger to choose music pieces and analyze the instrumentation and level of difficulty of the band as a whole. After the musical arrangement is decided, Murphy then meets with a drill coordinator who orchestrates the movement of the piece. Also integral to the process is coordination with the color guard instructor, who is responsible for choreography, placement, timing, costuming, and equipment use for the color guard.
Once the show is planned, next comes the execution. The band members start learning the music at an intensive camp during the summer and begin to work on the fundamentals of marching. Not only do they have to play music well, they also need to be able to move seamlessly across the field with polish and showmanship. This brilliant execution of the program can only be attained with practice; hours and hours of practice. The Screamin’ Eagles band has brought home the state title for the last three consecutive years, and defending the state title certainly puts added pressure on the band members and directors. Knowing that they were competing in a higher class this year, the band directors demanded more out of the members, and they delivered.
These performances take time and practice to polish. Many of our band members are also involved in other activities. Senior Percussion member Peter Cooper is also a member of the Varsity Football Team. Peter said “Football and band was always an interesting and fun challenge. Having to trade off morning rehearsal and morning film communication with the coaches and directors was critical to success.” Some days Peter finds himself on the Legacy campus for up to 13 hours, which is a long day for anyone. In the end though, he was “confident in our work and our ability going into state. I knew that no matter the outcome we would have done our best and performed to the best of our ability.”
This group of students knew that they had it in them – and Mr. Murphy has known all along as well. Over the last several years, the TPSMEA competition has grown into a more robust competition. The productions are bigger and more elaborate and the judges expect a higher level of showmanship. This year Murphy challenged the band with longer and more intense musical pieces that demanded more technical skill.
Drum Major, Isabella Corral (Class of ‘22), is the youngest Drum Major under Mr. Murphy’s direction, but she has truly risen to the occasion. “She has done a phenomenal job,” said Mr. Murphy. “It has been amazing seeing her grow this school year.” Isabella stood proudly on the stand after their performance at Fort Worth Christian and remembers looking out over the band “the most exciting part of State was right after we performed, the second that the music stopped, I looked around the field and saw everyone's face just light up. That feeling was better than receiving the plaque, it was knowing that we did our best, gave it our all, and left everything on the field.”
Andi Webb, Assistant Director of Bands, pictured together with Isabella, echoed her sentiment, “They went out there and they laid it all out there. They knew they had performed their best, but to see their faces light up when they knew that they won – the joy on their faces was immeasurable. This is why I do what I do.”
When all the pieces come together; the hours of practice, the foot placement, the musical performance, the props, and the showmanship, it all equates to an elaborate and entertaining show that is, once again, worthy of a state title. Way to go Screamin’ Eagles!
Legacy Christian Academy offers students a college preparatory education; central to that education is fine arts. 100% of students in Pre-K through high school participate in a fine arts course, and many upperclassmen continue with their fine art study. For the latest information on Legacy fine arts, subscribe today. For more information on Legacy, visit our admissions page.