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Pride of the Tribe Band making a mark

     Ganado Pride of the Tribe band has made big strides this contest season. In the past few weeks they have been awarded the Chevy Cup which is given to outstanding band programs that Chevrolet sponsors, KHOU11 featured them on “Inside High School Sports,” and they’ve received an invitation from the Mayor of Houston to march in their Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

     On October 7, the Pride of the Tribe received first place in Division Two at the Edna Invitational Marching Contest and advanced to finals. In finals, they placed third overall out of 31 bands which included five 6A bands, two 5A bands, twelve 4A bands, nine 3A bands, and three 2A bands. 

     Russell Balusek, band director at Edna ISD, said “Ganado came in third after tying with 6A Mayde Creek and owning the tiebreaker. That is a very big deal. Usually, the 2A champion comes in dead last in the finals.”

     The band’s show is titled “Siren Song” and Drum Major Victoria said, “Sirens are like evil mermaids. The band is like the sailors and the the color guard is the Sirens that are attacking us and stuff like that.”

     Tenor Sax Sergio Corona believes the Pride of the Tribe “… did pretty good. We definitely cleaned it up and had to get our stuff together for finals if we wanted to place higher. And it did pay out since we beat the 6A schools.”

     With such a small band, judges can more easily pick out the small details of a show. Everyone must be in step, and have the correct placement and the correct spacing. Marching in a band requires strong multitasking skills from every person on the field. The students must have their music memorized which doesn’t just include knowing the notes but also the style and intensity they must play, while also knowing what spot to move to next. In marching contests, there are large props that need to be moved on and off the field. There are times when students might be playing an instrument while running or even leaping through the air. They must always be aware of everyone around them to ensure there aren’t any accidents and they stay in sync. 

     Corona’s favorite part of the show is the “visual where we’re sort of getting hypnotized by the sirens and we’re falling for them because that’s what they usually do.” Drum Major Juan Ramos personally enjoys the brass feature. “It just gives me chills,” Ramos said. 

     Everyone in the band is enjoying the recognition and respect they are receiving. With the spotlight on them, the pressure is on to succeed. The common goal all the students have is to make the State Finals, continue to outwork their competitors and show up with a good attitude. 

     “So our final goal, something that our leaders sat down and we wanted to accomplish this year, was to make state finals. Last year we missed state finals by one spot,” Band Director Mandy Keen said. “I think we need to focus on staying in our straight lines and make sure that we’re marching in step. I’m really thankful for the community and parent’s support this year. They have helped out tremendously by feeding our kids and making sure everybody has what we need. The parents and community have really stepped up and it’s been awesome.”

     The Ganado Pride of the Tribe Band received straight 1’s for their performance at the Regional contest in El Campo on October 14. They will attend the Area contest on October 21 in Odem.

Jackson County Herald Tribune

306 N. Wells
Edna, TX 77957