‘Pride of Breckenridge’ ends marching season with top-20 finish
The Pride of Breckenridge High School Marching Band ended its competition season with a top-20 finish at the UIL 3A Area B Contest in Denton Saturday.
Breckenridge began drilling at 8 a.m., making modifications to their instruments to compensate for the near freezing temperatures, and running over routines before what would later turnout to be their final competitive performance.
“It was a drastic change in temperature,” band director Dane Richardson said. “After the game Friday night in Boyd, we drove to Flower Mound and stayed the night. We went to Argyle High School this morning and rehearsed. We were there at 8 a.m. and we could tell that was going to play a factor. When you’re rehearsing at 8 in the morning, and you know your performance time is at 12:45 p.m., you understand it will be a drastic change in temperature, and that can affect tuning and intonation quite a bit.”
Those modifications in tuning may have played to Breckenridge’s favor. The three judges scoring the event ranked Breckenridge’s musical performance in the middle of the 24-school pack, however it wasn’t enough to break the band into the area finals.
“My strategy was to get them awake, to blow a lot of air and get the blood flowing,” Richardson said. “We did a lot of visual things this morning and when we got here is when we started worrying about the tuning, the sound and bringing it all together … I was really happy with our performance at halftime Friday.”
Richardson’s content with the performance may not have been possible without efforts from his staff and, especially, parents and volunteers.
“We overcame a lot of issues. We were driving out of town and one thing after the other kept happening,” Richardson said. “They forgot to load the plumes, one of our sousaphones was broken, part of our cube- the prop where we have the vinyl signs- has special three-way corners and one of those cracked and broke last night in the cold. We were trying to overcome all of these things.”
Richardson said a family in Breckenridge planning to drive to Denton the morning of contest helped by bringing the band’s plumes and replaced sousaphone, adding that a last-minute supply trip for PVC glue and tape helped mend the corners of the broken cube prop.
“We’d just been solving problems all night and morning, but it really came through.”
Senior drum major Kally Atchison led the band onto the field for its final performance Saturday, hoping her work in assisting preparations paid off. After being on the drum line in 2016, she felt ready for the added responsibility and eventually helped guide the Pride of Breckenridge to the UIL Area B Competition.
“I really wanted to lead the band and I had some high expectations and some ideas of what I had to offer,” she said.
Atchison will now turn her attention to college, while freshman Landon Riddle will turn his attention to next 2018, whom Richardson said was one of his most improved musicians. Riddle said much of his improvement came from practice, and later added his performance Saturday was more mental than anything else.
“You just have to stay in step and get your moves right. It’s a lot different, we have to learn more stuff with marching,” he said. “… [Today] was pretty good. I didn’t get out of step or anything. I had a pretty good mindset before I walked on the field, but it was pretty nerve-racking. I didn’t want to get out of step or mess up anything.”
The band will now enter concert season, allowing seniors to compete for the last time in UIL Solo and Ensemble contests.