The new school year commenced on Monday, August 14 for students at Prosper High School. The following morning, senior band students and drum majors Morgan Flanagin, Abby Riley, and Emily Ray gathered to discuss entering their final year of high school.
“The first day of school was definitely a lot less stressful as a senior than it was as a freshman,” Riley said, noting that the older band members assist the newcomers.
Flanagin stated that close bonds begin to form with band members during August camp. This creates friendly relations with the new students, lessening their uncertainty and confusion about entering a new school.
“My first day was pretty surreal because my sisters are freshmen,” she said. “Seeing them walk in and get their schedules is kind of like a flashback to my freshman year.”
All three girls echoed that their participation in band created a secure, familial environment that largely improved their high school experience. As drum majors, the girls are tasked with standing on the podiums and conducting at half time.
Upcoming band competitions include the UIL Region Contest, with advancement earning a spot in the UIL Area Contest, with a group goal of then advancing to the UIL State Contest in San Antonio. To date, the Prosper High School band has never been to the state contest.
Another notable competition is Grand Nationals in Indianapolis in November. These competitions provide the girls with the ability to rank nationally as a group and also focus on individual growth throughout their final year.
Flanagin noted that the cycle of friendship and family forged by the band members is unique to the program. Special senior activities include the senior pep rally, senior game, special sashes for band members, the band banquet with senior scholarships and personalized photo boards for graduating members.
“Every band kid knows that at graduation when you walk across the stage, the whole band is behind you cheering,” said Flanagin.
“It’s the kind of support that nobody else in the audience really gets,” Riley said, noting that the band students have some 200-odd voices echoing their support.
“It’s a very open display that we are a family and we care about the success of each person entering, and in our case leaving, the program at the end of the year,” she added.