Prosper’s Mighty Eagle Marching Band took its show, The Lost World, on the road and wowed the competition Saturday at the HEB Marching Contest held at Pennington Field in Bedford, Texas.
Seventeen bands, including Coppell, The Colony, Frisco Wakeland, Allen and others, competed in the contest, which lasted all day.
The judging process consisted of a seven-person panel of adjudicators from across the U.S. taking into consideration all components of the marching show.
The bands were given a 30-minute warm-up period and 10 minutes to move its more than 300 members to the gate.
Prosper took first place in the preliminaries in Class 5A and overall, earning outstanding awards for Percussion, Music Performance, and General Effect, reported Director of Bands John Alstrin. Prosper scored in the top 10 highest scoring bands and advanced to the finals. In the finals competition, Prosper went head-to-head with the best of the best. Prosper was named Grand Champions by earning the highest overall score, receiving awards for music, visual, and general effect.
In the finals, Prosper again took first place overall, earning outstanding caption awards for Music Performance, Visual Performance and General Effect.
Prosper Band began marching practices and music training in late July and began adding the visual program to the show during the first week of August.
“We rehearse a total of eight hours per week outside the school day, some evenings and mornings,” said Brad Honeycutt, Prosper Associate Director of Bands.
“As we tell the students, we don’t teach results, we teach the process,” Alstrin said. “And as this is just the beginning of the most rigorous and competitive month in Prosper history, we are very excited to see what the students do with this, the last third of their 100-day group project. The staff and students are reinvigorated and ready to work our systems, dedicate our efforts to our teammates, and trust the process.”
“The show this year is ‘The Lost World,’” said Michael Huestis, Assistant Band Director, Percussion. “We try to convey an ‘Avatar’ meets lost boys from ‘Peter Pan’ with a little aspect of the TV show ‘Lost.’ It’s kind of mysterious with a tribal naïveté feel to the program with jungle scenes and a sense of community.”
Some of the music is original music written especially for the Eagle band. Donald Hill, another assistant band director, wrote the winds’ section score while Huestis wrote the percussion parts. Hill also arranged the rest of the program using music originally composed by Samuel Barber, the famous composer. Music from his violin concerto has been arranged to fit each section of the band. “So, each section gets a spot to be the star of the show,” Huestis said.
Alstrin said he and the staff are most pleased with and proud of the daily effort and continued growth of the largest band in the history of Prosper High School. “It is a joy to watch the students take ownership of their project and their own learning,” he said.
The Mighty Eagle Band is marching its way through competition aiming for the Alamodome in San Antonio for the November 8 UIL State Marching Contest. But first they will need to clear the Regional Competition on October 21 at Little Elm, followed by the Area Competition on October 28 also at Little Elm.
Renee Marler | Renee@CedarbrookMedia.com