After breaking their 17-year winning streak, the Golden Bear Band competes in the UIL Band Competition on Tuesday, Nov. 17. It will take place at the Woodforest Stadium in The Woodlands.
“Covid hasn’t hurt our spirits,” junior Austin Riha said. “We have to wear a bell cover, and we can’t go to away games, which is a little disappointing.”
COVID puts people at higher risks who already have lingering health issues, so precautions like bell covers, masks, and limiting travel are made to avoid risks and keep the band performing.
“We’re finally sticking to just military style marching instead of a mix of military and core music,” junior Morgan Mosier said. “Because there is no military/core music in band, you’re either one or the other.”
Core style marching is different from military style because core music is more upbeat and the marching is similar to dancing.
“Mr. Elam is very knowledgeable, being that he’s strait out of college,” assistant band director Robert Cameron said. “He has a good report with all the students, and he does a great job at motivating them and keeping everything running smoothly.”
Elam marched in the Waltrip Ram band as a student. Then he attended Sam Houston State University, where he majored in Music Education. This is his first year as a high school band director.
“He is just new, but he’s good with taking it slow with us, so we understand,” senior Tyler Cook said. “I’m kind of sad because this is the last one I’ll ever get. It’s hard to believe.”
To motivate the band, they have chants. Senior Keely Edgar said her personal favorite chant is “Hey band, Hey what? How do you feel? We feel good, oh we feel so good, OH!”
Band practices hours a day at home, in class, and after school. During practices the band works on music, steps sizes, counting sets.
“We are always aiming for straight ones,” sophomore trumpet player Evan Cox said. “We got a two last year and have been working hard to get ones this year.”