The Roaring Tiger Band at Commerce High School has been hitting the field in summer practice for their upcoming school year, with a new marching show to boot.
This marks the second year for Head Band Director Kara Wallace. In Wallace’s short tenure, great strides have been taken toward improvement.
In the last year, the CHS Band sent two students to the UIL State Solo & Ensemble competition, one student to the ATSSB All-State Band, and the group as a whole received a “Superior” rating at the UIL Marching Contest. A comment from a judge at the competition said that it was “the best this group has ever sounded.”
Wallace says that being director at CHS has been a rewarding experience.
“It has been extremely satisfying,” Wallace said. “The kids go out there and do what they have to do with a whole heart and a smile.”
Wallace said that the band has received “great support” from the school district and parents alike.
This year brings a new crop of band members, and a spike in numbers overall. The size of the band jumped from about 75 to 100 this year, meaning that more than 20 percent of the student body at CHS participates in band. The size increase facilitated the need for an assistant director, with Sydney Cohen coming on as a new hire to fill the position.
Wallace says that the newest band season began on July 23, with percussion and the color guard. Last week, the full band began practice out in the heat.
The upcoming show for this season is titled “Twinkle,” by Steve Martin, Aaron Hines and Dan Bryan. The show is in three movements, and features themes relating to stars and planets, plus a bevy of familiar tunes.
“I feel like this show will give the opportunity for the audience to be engaged,” Wallace said. “There will be plenty of moments where people can go ‘Oh I know that tune.’”
Wallace says that she hopes to have the entire piece ready to go by mid September, and until then will play bits and pieces during football halftime performances.
The big goal for the band this year is to make the UIL State Marching Competition, which only comes around every other year for 3A schools. The first competition is scheduled for Oct. 16 in Mesquite. If the band receives the highest rating of “1” from all judges, they will advance to Area and fight for a shot at state.
Wallace says she has high hopes for the group, but stressed the importance of finishing the job.
“I see so much potential with this group,” Wallace said. “But I always try to teach that you are only in control of yourself, so do as much as you can to take care of business. The possibilities are endless.”
A friends and family performance of the first two movements of “Twinkle” is scheduled for Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. The location is to be determined.