The Crosby High School band, like many of the school's extracurricular departments, lost valuable practice time due to Hurricane Harvey and the Arkema chemical plant evacuation.
Band director Kevin Knight said some band students were displaced temporarily, partially because of Harvey, but mostly due to Arkema.
"Some were a double-whammy," Knight said. "Our drum major was displaced due to several inches of water and couldn't come back because of Arkema. With some students, even though they took precautions, their instruments were damaged and had to get repaired, which was done at no cost to the students."
Despite the obstacles set before them, Knight actually witnessed a positive change in the band students, who have risen to the challenge and increased the speed at which they are improving. Knight is happy to say that thanks to the students' dedication and proactive approach, the Crosby High School band is back on track and moving full-steam ahead into their 2017 marching season.
"Our kids always work hard - band practice is fun," Knight said. "Every program has its tough moments, but everything's been positive and uplifting after the hurricane. I think everyone appreciates each other a little more. We are now back on track."
The Crosby community turned out to show their support for the Crosby High School band during an at-home performance in Crosby on Saturday, Oct. 14. The performance served as an unveiling of their 2017 marching season production, entitled "Give Us This Day."
"All the music is about hope and humanity - it's uplifting," Knight said. "We had our music picked out already, but after Harvey, I think the show's theme meant a little more to our band family."
Due to scheduling revisions for football, the Crosby High School band will not be able to perform a home-side show until late October, which is much later than what the Crosby community is used to. The Crosby High School band directors decided to hold the performance in Crosby in lieu of attending a practice contest scheduled that same weekend.
The band has already attended their first contest of the season, which occurred the previous weekend. The Marching Festival at Galena Park ISD on Saturday, Oct. 2, was set up similarly to an actual UIL competition.
The Crosby High School band knew the delays put them behind in their practice. However, as soon as they started playing, and as each minute of their performance progressed, Knight knew they would be a force to be reckoned with this season.
They came in second place out of 15 marching bands at the festival.
"I think that was the motivator they needed," Knight said. "This week's practices have been awesome. It's not about winning, but when you achieve, it's like all of the effort is worth it."
Next Saturday, Oct. 21, will be the actual UIL Region Marching Contest. The Crosby High School band hopes to continue progressing forward through the UIL competition levels and eventually represent the band, school and community at the UIL State competition.
Regardless of what the future holds, Knight expects Crosby High School band will have a strong marching season they can remember for a long time.
"I really believe in my heart of hearts that if our kids keep going on this path and work together, whether they are selected for state or not, I think they will give performances this Saturday and in coming weeks that get better and better, and that they will remember years down the road," Knight said. "That's really what the goal is - the good experience and memories. I always tell the kids, 'You're not a good band because you win, you win because you're a good band.' Even if we do not get to state, we will be proud of our hard work and that we persevered through any setbacks we encountered."
For more information about Crosby ISD, visit www.crosbyisd.org.
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