I’m with the Band
On Sept. 14, 2019, each person walking into Kimbrough Stadium could honestly say, “I’m with the band.” The event, which started at 8 a.m. and ended at 10 a.m., was the annual Plano East Senior High march-a-thon. The Plano East Senior High Marching Panthers, comprised of 180 members, led the march-a-thon by playing the school fight song and other pep tunes. Bands from all PISD East Cluster schools also participated.
Murphy resident, Angela Hughes is the chairperson of the march-a-thon this year. She explained the purpose of this event, “The march-a-thon is a celebration of the Eastside band program, one of the largest high school programs in the state (when considering the three campuses that comprise the Plano East Senior High feeder system of students from grades 9-12) and of music education in PISD. Students solicit pledges to support the music program at their specific campuses. It also brings together students from grades 6 - 12 to expose all students to the opportunities and excitement of the band program.”
Tara Ward, a Murphy resident and local radio station personality, infused excitement into the early morning event by interviewing band directors and band members.
Hughes provided insight as to how being in the band has benefitted her son, “I started as a band mom at Murphy Middle School and have continued through McMillen and now PESH. My oldest son, Dean, is a senior this year and the Drum Captain. I love the band family that we have had since sixth grade! Several of Dean's best friends are band kids and several of mine are band moms. We spend a lot of time together at games, contests and other events. Band kids are the best kids! They are hard-working, organized, successful and friends for life! I was not a band kid, but I wish I would have been.”
The funds raised during the march-a-thon are utilized as needed depending on the school. At the middle school level, the funds are used to support overall band operations. At the high school and senior high levels, the funds can be used to assist students with trip fees or for general band operations.
At the conclusion of the march-a-thon, the combined bands spelled out EAST on the field. Then, the combined bands played Gimme Some Lovin'.