For years I have wondered why there is such a rift in schools concerning sports and arts programs. Why there is always an us versus them mentality. Both programs are dedicated to what they do. Both put in long hours of practice and dedication so that they can be the very best that they can be. So why is it that sports programs are always revered regardless the outcome of their season, and the arts….well, even when they win a championship hardly gets any recognition.
Before I go any further I want it understood that I am very proud of the kids who are in sports. They push themselves very hard and are worthy of the praise that they receive. I wouldn’t take that away from them for anything in the world. THEY WORKED FOR IT. That being said, I think the same of our band kids.
The general public does not know the hours and work that these kids have put in. They give up the final week of July for band camp to start working on their show. They show up for early band starting the second day of school through the end of marching season at 7:15am. Before marching season starts, they put in practices that are three to four hours long, three nights a week. The drum line and color guard have mandatory sectionals 2 nights a week on top of that, and the other instruments have one. In support of the football team, the band plays morning walk throughs at the schools and plays at pep rallies to pump the students up for the game. They show up at 5:30pm on the nights of home football games, march to those games and then play EVERY QUARTER and march the half time show, helping to rally the crowd and cheer on our team to victory. They travel to every away game, repeating that, giving their unending support for the Eagles. THEY TAKE NO TIME OFF DURING THE GAMES…PERIOD. Almost every Saturday after a game, home or away starting in September, the band then rises and heads out to their own competitions, many times before the sun is even close to rising. THIS is the work and dedication that these kids have. Besides this, many of them are in softball or volley ball, have jobs, piano lessons, and let’s not forget about homework.
So let’s take a moment to talk about what The Pride of Hennessey has done this year.
- Perry Parade – 3rd Place
- OKC State Fair Parade- Color Guard 2nd Place
- Putnam City Field- 10th Place
- Konawa Band Day Parade- 3rd place (outstanding)
- Outstanding Coor Guard
- Konawa field show- class 3a – 1st place
- Tri-State Field competition- superior rating
- Regional Field- superior rating
- Lawton Superior Field – Class 3a 2nd place
- OKLAHOMA BAND MASTERS ASSOCIATION MARCHING CHAMPIONSHIPS- CLASS 2A CHAMPS,
- High Visual
- High Effect
I am having a hard time understanding why it is so important to some to say that the Pride’s OBA Championship isn’t a “REAL” Championship. They competed against bands in their class and beat them. They received medals and a trophy which says ‘CLASS 2A CHAMPIONS”. I have patches from the event that say 2011 OBA Championships. I don’t understand why these 35 kids were not recognized by the school for their accomplishment. Why because it’s not an OSSAA Championship, which there isn’t one for band, it doesn’t count. WHY would you try to downplay what these kids have accomplished instead of being proud of them and what to shout from the rooftops, “Not only do we have a championship football team and cross country team, our band are champions too! Can your schools say that?” I don’t get it! But even more, I don’t want to have to look into these children’s eyes and see that hurt and confusion as to why they still aren’t good enough to be recognized for their hard work. To wonder why they aren’t “shown off” during a pep rally or assembly. As a parent, I am more than upset that because the impression given off is that because this isn’t an athletic club, their accomplishments just don’t mean as much and just aren’t as important. That, “Oh, it’s just the band…no big deal.” IT IS A BIG DEAL!! And these kids are worthy of being noticed of their accomplishments by the students and by the administration. Representative Mike Sanders agreed it’s a big deal and sent out a congratulations to the band in the form of a citation.
I have 3 boys who are State Champions. You can say all you want that it’s not real, but you know what? You’d be wrong. I watched them fight for that championship title. I watched them EARN that championship title and I will continue to tell them, along with every other student in the band program, YOU ARE A STATE CHAMPION. I see it this way, those who currently do not look at them as such, you can continue to hurt these kids and make them feel less than OR you can claim them as another feather in Hennessey’s cap, which only makes our school and our town more proud than ever.