Ariel Sanchez, a graduate of Pine Tree High School, paints like a calavera – or skull – and wears a delicate blue hat
Pine Tree was one of 25 schools that entered the competition on Tuesday.
The event on Tuesday was the first UIL marching competition of the season. Pine Tree and Spring Hill High School, which also participated, received a “1,” which means they will advance to the area competition. From there only four schools are selected to advance to the state competition.
The theme for Pine Trees Performance was Dia de los Muertos – or Day of the Dead. Large posters with decorative calaveras were placed along the pitch to support the band’s performance, as well as a stage adorned with flags and an ornate image of a girl in a traditional Mexican dress and blue hat.
This is Pine Tree’s second full year as a corps-style band, previously practicing military style.
The style of the corps is identified by its focus on percussion, with props and theatrical performances often accompanied. Military and traditional styles can also be used by marching bands, with the military being popular in the south, said Mark Perry, director of the Pine Tree Band.
“Whether in the military or in the corps, it’s hard to do well,” said Perry.
Many of the bands that entered the competition on Tuesday were military style.
Perry stated that the decision to perform as a Corps band resulted from the need to be more competitive at the area level where most other bands will be using the same style.
“I have the greatest respect for military bands and what they do – tradition is important,” he said. “At the same time, I want my children to know what 95% of the country are doing.”
According to Perry, most marching bands across the country practice the corps style.
“I also wanted to give my children something new that they can bite into and get excited about beyond marches,” he said. “Many military bands push the limits of what is considered to be the military. I would just say that the musical repertoire we can play when you’re in a corps band has more choices. “
Perry said the band started working on a theme for Tuesday’s performance last November.
“Planning for a march show really starts a year ago,” he said.
Perry added that Deputy Band Director and Color Guard Director Jared Cronk was the “Master Visualizer” for Tuesday’s performance and designed all of the costumes worn by Color Guard members.
“March shows are supposed to be so exciting … so how do you make a ‘down’ ending with such a finality?” Perry said about the ending that Sanchez showed off in her makeup and hat.
“(Cronk) that was his plan to do all of that,” he said. “We all know someone who has passed away,” symbolized the last picture of the performance.