THRALL – Everyone was quiet. The lights shined bright onto Whitney field as students held hands and squeezed their eyes shut, waiting for results. This was it.
“Second place in Area D and advancing to the state championship… is the Thrall High School Band.”
The crowd erupted into cheers and jumped out of their seats. They made it. For the first time in 37 years, the Tiger Band was headed to state.
“When they announced fifth place and I knew it wasn't us, tears started streaming down my face,” senior head drum major Emma Kramer said. “When they announced that we got second place, I was just so shocked and overwhelmed and proud of all of the band members that all I could do was cry and hug the Tiger Band officers down on the field with me.”
The Thrall High School Band earned second place at the 2A Area D marching contest Oct. 26 with their show “The Time in Between.” They will perform at the state competition against 17 other bands Nov. 6, at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
“I want them to give it their very best every performance and every rehearsal,” band director Beth Morrison said. “We asked them to step up their performance and made some minor musical changes right before the finals. They took the risk. I’m so proud of them.”
Of the 21 bands that competed in Area prelims, 10 advanced to finals and performed again for a chance at state. The Tiger Band entered the finals in 10th place.
“After getting prelims results, I was completely shocked,” Kramer said. “I knew there would be lots of other good bands there, but I thought we would have been ranked around fourth or fifth, not 10th. My mindset shifted from making state, to simply trying to improve our performance and move a few places up.”
Before the finals performance, the seniors gathered around the band and gave words of inspiration and encouragement.
“Our band was inspired, as we knew we had ground to make up and that we didn’t do too hot in prelims, so we knew we had to bring everything we had,” sophomore Luke Marx said.
The Tiger Band moved up eight places from their 10th place finish in prelims to second place in the finals, a very unusual feat. The top four bands in finals advanced to the state competition.
“It was just sort of a shock,” sophomore Kaitlyn Thelen said. “I think when we went out there, we turned our nerves into drive. We all wholeheartedly agreed that we would make it our best performance. I was proud that everyone got their act cleaned up and we all took it seriously.”
Thrall ISD will live stream the UIL State Marching Contest via Box5-TV in the high school commons for anyone who is not able to attend at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
“I really think we have a good shot at state finals,” Kramer said. “To get there, we just have to maintain the same focus we had leading up to competition.”