Four Grayson County high school bands advance to state

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Four Grayson County high school marching bands are preparing for the performance of a lifetime. They are each trying to take home a Texas state title next week in San Antonio, and three of them will be competing against each other.
Kristen Shanahan spoke to the Howe, Whitesboro, Van Alstyne, and Sherman bands Monday, all of whom say winning first place would be music to their ears.

At Saturday's area marching band contest the Sherman Bearcats advanced to state along with three other 4A schools, and out of the 20 2A bands competing Whitesboro, Van Alstyne and Howe took home three of the four spots.

"I just had to sit there for a moment and go, okay this is happening I'm going to state," Howe Drum Major Madeline Ansley laughed.

"I get emotional thinking about it right now because we put in so much time, and this has been a special show for us," Howe Band Director, Angie Liss said.

Howe Band Director Angie Liss says the show that is taking them to state has been two years in the making.

"It's a lot of time, but well worth it when you get to see the kids so excited and see it pay off."

Van Alstyne's band practiced to the tune of several hundred hours and that hard work has paid off. They made school history by being the first Panther band ever to make it to state.

"To be able to have that challenge and accept it and be the first one to do that, it's very good," Van Alstyne Band Director, Tim Fulton said. "I didn't cry, but a lot of them cried."

"It's very fulfilling. About time," Herald Copelin, a Van Alstyne band member, said.

After advancing to state five times before, Sherman High School band members know what they have to do to win their first state title.

"Trying to get everyone to look uniform that's kind of our goal is to make everyone look the same, and then we do our music rehearsals to make sure all our music sounds the same," Margaret Mealy, Sherman Drum Major, said.

"It's so much about out working your opponent and making sure that what you do is just a little cleaner a little better," Sherman Band Director Ryan Jenkins said.

Claiming the school's first state marching band title would be music to the ears of the Whitesboro Bearcats, but they say it is working together in harmony as a team that will lead them to a true win.

"The thing we've really worked on is coming together more as a family, that was one of our goals that we would become a band family," Whitesboro Band Director Jim Cude said.

"We have this saying we've not won until we're one so we strive to be together in everything that we do," Cody Fennell, Whitesboro Drum Major, said.