Hard work pays off on whimsical Carousel

Band places fifth in Bands of America Dallas regional competition

Angelina Liu, Visual Media Editor

The Coppell High School varsity band performs under the direction of drum major Trey Bass during the finals performance of “Carousel” at the 2021 Bands of America Super Regional Championships at Pennington Field in Bedford on Saturday. The band took fifth place in the BOA Super Regional Championships. (Shrayes Gunna)

BEDFORD – On Saturday, deafening silence encapsulated Pennington Field as a full audience sat in anticipation on green plastic bleachers awaiting Coppell’s performance. After several moments, an eerie noise of cartoonish carnival music could be heard as the show began and Coppell debuted their 2021 University Interscholastic League contest marching show. 

Coppell varsity marching band traveled to Pennington Field in Bedford to compete at the Bands of America Dallas/Fort Worth Super Regional Championships. Coppell advanced past preliminaries and finished fifth overall with a score of 81.25 out of 12 competing schools. 

“I don’t have kids,” Coppell High School band director Kim Shuttlesworth said. “But [students in band] are [like] my kids. [I] see and understand the sacrifices that they make in terms of time with their friends and family. These kids give up a lot. Because of that, I think it’s very humbling and rewarding as a human being to know that [I] might make a difference in their life and they may make a difference in someone else’s life by their performance.” 

Before advancing to finals competition which took place later in the evening, Coppell performed  in a preliminary round and placed in the top 12 to qualify. The regional championship preliminary featured 32 bands from across the region. The preliminary round lasted for the majority of the day, beginning at 7 a.m and concluding at 4:30 p.m. 

Coppell’s schedule began bright and early at 9 a.m with a stadium rehearsal at Buddy Echols Field. At 2:30 p.m, Coppell was scheduled to perform.

[I] see and understand the sacrifices these kids make. Because of that, I think it’s very humbling and rewarding as a human being to know that [I] might make a difference in their life and they may make a difference in someone else’s life by their performance.”

— Kimberly Shuttlesworth

“It’s our first [Bands of America]  competition in a while,” senior band president Hamza Hussein said. “This competition, especially with the stakes and the audience, was incredible. I feel a responsibility to prepare younger individuals in band. So if things didn’t go well, I would have put that on me.” 

The show began with a pensive and otherworldly tone, drawing in the audience’s attention. The brightly colored turquoise and deep shades of purple on the band costumes dazzled brightly in the sun and matched the whimsical theme of a carnival. Detailed painted horses moved across the field and the audience was captivated by the occasional lapses and swells in the music. 

Featured dancer senior Mira Jiang performs a sauté arabesque alongside senior Veeti Tuppurainen during the finals performance of “Carousel” at the 2021 Bands of America Super Regional Championships at Pennington Field in Bedford on Saturday. The band took fifth place in the BOA Super Regional Championships. (Shrayes Gunna)

However, there were a few moments that proved exactly how versatile and how much repetition and practice the band had dedicated to “Carousel.”  Prior to the show, senior lead flute soloist Eden Kim’s flute broke and Hussein’s shoe slipped off, potentially risking a penalty. 

“At first I was really scared,” Kim said. “I had to trade it out with someone else’s flute which kind of rattled me. But after I started playing, I calmed down and it was great.” 

Hussein showed his leadership and  professionalism as he handled the situation with grace. 

“It’s definitely something that has never happened to me before,” Hussein said. “I haven’t marched on this field in a couple of years, so it definitely had a different feel than to what I am used to. This guy and I were a bit close to each other and he ended up stepping on my shoe and it came clean off. I just continued to march. Five minutes later, I tripped on it. However, we got everything off the field and we didn’t get a penalty. 

The preliminary performance guaranteed a spot in the finals for Coppell. Finals competition began at 7:45 p.m, with Coppell scheduled to perform at 9:30 p.m. To finish the day of competition,  Coppell percussion was invited to play its 2021 show “Birds Requiem” for the stadium. 

Coppell placed fifth overall with a score of 82.15. The performance was judged off of the value of music, visuals, performance, as well as general effect. 

“I am really happy with our accomplishment,” color guard junior Katherine Choi said. “Even though we didn’t place first, we still worked hard and tried our best.” 

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