Houston Area Bands Compete at Small Town, Big Sound

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Houston Area Bands Compete at Small Town, Big Sound

Jenna Tuggle

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This past Saturday, FHS hosted their tenth annual marching band festival, Small Town, Big Sound. Fifteen bands, each with their own unique shows to perform, competed in the contest, with ten of the best performing bands making finals. Clear Brook took home first place, Pearland received second, and Dawson got third.

“Small Town Big Sound is a competition,” Friendswood director Julio Sanchez said. “At the same time, I think everyone knows that it’s still early in the season. There’s still a lot of developing going on. Things can change, and things probably will change before the end of October.”

Sanchez says that he starts seeing students get nervous during warm-ups, where directors and drum majors prepare their bands for their performance.

“The warm-up process was well-organized, and the volunteers were great, but the heat definitely took a toll on me,” Eric Weingarter, director of the James E. Taylor band said.

The Mighty Mustang Band performed their show, The Barbers, for the exhibition performance while the judges added up the scores for the finalists. Earlier that morning, since Friendswood isn’t allowed to compete, they had a clinic with the judges, getting much needed advice and comments on the production of the show so far.

“I hope they learned those little individual things, and understand that they make a difference,” Sanchez said. “I hope they can grasp the big picture concepts that they can not only use in other rehearsals, but outside of that too. I’m excited to see what they have to say about our band as well, about the concept of our show.”

Small Town Big Sound is different from other major competitions. The majority of students are eager to meet people from other bands, and there’s a surprising amount of good sportsmanship throughout the competition. 

“Last year I couldn’t come, so I was pretty excited that we came back this year,” Clear Falls student Georgia Smith said. “My freshman year was great, and this year was too. It made me want to come back. Meeting people from other bands and getting to watch the other performances is my favorite part.”

Many students, including ones at Friendswood, are excited to see old friends, or even family members, from other schools. Upperclassmen at Friendswood look forward to seeing their old director, Aaron Brown, who now directs the Dawson Eagle Band.

“Our show this year is called Unveiled,” Brown said. “It has a really cool middle eastern vibe to it. Honestly, I’m excited to be putting out a great show, and keep people coming to see it.”

The tenth festival ran very smoothly, thanks to the many parents and students that volunteered their time to help.

“Our motto has always been, ‘Take care of them as if they’re family,’” Sanchez said. “We try our best to make them feel welcome, answer all their questions, take care of all their needs.”