That Small-Town Pride

Yesterday was a big day in our small town.
A few weeks back, our High School Marching Band earned a spot in State competition. In 6A, the large-school category. That meant we would march with the 37 top bands from the 245 largest High Schools in the State of Texas.

A big event calls for an extra-big send-off,
so we broke out the rally towels and the character flag
and saw them off in style.

It's so wonderful to live in a place where a Hometown Hero sendoff is the rule rather than the exception, where hometown fans caravan to San Antonio behind the busses to fill the Alamo Dome with cheers of jubilation as their teen musicians and dancers put on their game faces ...

and perform their hearts out, leaving it all on the field.

Let's watch as they perform their 2014 show,

After the performance, UIL officials interviewed head Drum Major Emma, who also happens to be a Westwood-Bales alum, and asked her what it felt like be the leader of such a wonderful group and to be making their debut in 6A competition. She said that it was amazing to be there and added that her role as leader of the band was really all about serving others. My heart jumped with joy when I heard this young leader tell everyone in the Dome how important servant leadership is.

I'm planning to show this performance in my next peace-class lesson, when we talk about empathy. What would it be like to walk in a band member's shoes, from that first day of practice in August before you even know if you're going to earn a spot, through all of the rehearsals and competitions, to performing in front of thousands of fans four months later at 6A State? 
What would it take? 
What would you need? 
How would it feel? 
Could you do the job of a Drum Major? A dancer? A musician? What instrument would you like to play? What if you didn't qualify for a spot in the band? Would you be okay with the job of pushing those bells around? Is any job out on that field more important than another? Why or why not?

Our daughter Kaitlyn met us at the competition, to watch her brother march. Seems like just yesterday she was wearing that very uniform.

As we awaited news about the top-ten finalists,
her University of Texas Longhorn Band performed for us.
Here's the patriotic portion of their 2014 Veterans Day show:

Our performance in prelims placed us in a tie for 14th, so we didn't advance to finals yesterday. But in the end, it's not the trophy or rank that determines whether or not we win. It's the diligence, determination, and drive of each and every one of these dedicated individuals who band together to create something so beautiful that puts them at the top, regardless of what the final scores say. 
Their hard work is passion and perseverance personified.

They truly are our pride and joy, and when they represent our small town so well, it makes those early morning rehearsals and all of the chaos of running around from pillar to post during marching season so well worth it. 

Thank you, Mighty Mustang Band; 
your big success makes our small town proud.


  1. I enjoyed reading this! I remember being in a small Texas town that organized send offs for high school sports. Looks like the Mustangs have a lot of support.


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