As the school year begins and the eyes of Texas turn to the football field, the Eagle football squad is joined by another team that is set to take a step forward. The mighty Eagle marching, jazz, and concert bands include over 300 students, many of which have already been practicing for several weeks in preparation for a stellar year on the field and in the concert hall.

The members of the Eagle marching band have been rehearsing for eight hours a day since July 26th. But even before then, students took it upon themselves to prepare for the year.

“Our students meet up with their peers and student leaders over the summer to practice their music and marching fundamentals,” band director John Alstrin said. “There were days in the summer that I’d drive up to school and there would be 80 kids practicing. It was truly amazing to witness.”

The start of classes means that schedule will change, but director John Alstrin knows his students’ hard work will remain the same.

“At the heart of our ‘improvement’ is the desire to motivate students to try their hardest on a daily basis,” he said. “When that happens, then the music improves, the marching improves, the spirit grows, and the program evolves.”

But marching band is not the sole focus—jazz and concert band also share the spotlight, and Alstrin believes all three groups are in for great years to come.

“For concert band, one of our goals this year is to repeat as grand champions of the Dallas Winds Invitational. Additionally, we are looking to add a second jazz band.”

Nevertheless, the director knows that all that hard work will pay off with a thrilling halftime show. This year’s show, entitled “The Lost World,” mixes the worlds of Avatar and the film Hook in a vibrant, multifaceted performance unlike anything North Texas has yet to see. Over 60 cast members will use their music, their showmanship, and 21 different prop pieces to bring these dual worlds to life for the fans, the families and, ultimately, the judges at the marching concerts where the band hopes to continue their award-winning tradition. However, as always, the focus will be on the students, whom Alstrin insists are the main attraction of every band, every year. This year, that band is big in numbers and in talent.

“With over 300 kids in the program, almost double from four years ago, we can fill the field with sound and color, and it’s a wonderful experience to enjoy,” Alstrin says.

“Getting to witness teenagers working in conjunction and creating art with their movement, instruments, flags and dance is something that helps us to remember what it is to be human and how amazing life truly is.”