The Legacy Begins

The George Ranch High School percussion ensemble proudly displays their Longhorn pride with their Championship banner and trophy. The ensemble won championships last year with their show “Storm Break,” by Jim Casella. From left to right in the front row, Brandon Serrano, Mark Kilday, Yasmin Agidee, Randy Torres, Corey Chartier, and Daniel Garcia. From left to right in the back row, Rolando Robledo, Kelbie Rychlik, Jason Hernadez, Sameer Kanafani, Trevor Helms, Nathan Villasenor and Ashley Ng. The ensemble members not photographed were Wyatt Chen and Jonathon Liang.

On Saturday, March 31, the Longhorn percussion ensemble began a legacy for the years to come. The Longhorn percussion ensemble performed their show “eSPYonage” by Adam Clay at the Texas Color Guard Circuit Percussion Ensemble Championships at Pearland High School in Pearland, Texas.

The ensemble has been practicing and competing since before the winter holidays, during their percussion class period in school and staying after school on Mondays. They have competed in four TCGC competitions in the Scholastic Concert A Class before their championship competition.

At the TCGC Dawson competition, the ensemble placed third with a score of 72.20. At the Clear Springs competition, they placed second with a score of 77.20, being beaten only by Elkins High School. At the Bryan competition, they placed second with a score of 77.70, with Elkins High School coming in first once again. At their fourth and final show before Championships, the ensemble received a score of 87.10, finally surpassing Elkins High School and taking first place.

All of these competitions have been practices for the big competition, the one that comes above all others, championships. The Longhorn percussion ensemble faced off against five rival schools in their class division. The ensemble was scheduled to perform fourth out of the five ensembles, as the old saying goes, save the best for last.

The Ensembles director, Daren Jordan, gave the ensemble a small inspirational speech before they performed.

“A Sate championship one time is good, but it doesn’t create a legacy. We need to be consistent about our championships. One is not a legacy, but two begins the legacy,” Jordan said.

After performing their show, the ensemble waited around the school until the scheduled awards ceremony at 10:30 that night. When the awards announcer began to call out the placements of the Scholastic Concert A Class, the percussion ensemble was on edge.

Fifth, fourth, and third place was announced but George Ranch and Elkins High School had not been called. Finally, the announcer came to second place. The crowd fell silent, leaving the announcer’s voice booming throughout the gym.

“In second place, with a score of 88.50… Elkins High School!” the announcer declared.

This left George Ranch taking the first place seed with a score of 90.60, taking the championship title for the second year in a row. Junior drum set player Nathan Villasenor conveyed his fulfillment of winning first place.

“It was a great feeling, especially because we were placing second to Elkins in most of the previous competitions,” Villasenor said. “To me, being the underdog and coming out on top at the end feels way better than being on top the whole time. All the other schools will definitely have us on their radar.”

Taking home the championships for the second year in a row is great, so Jordan wants to keep the ball rolling.

“Next year? Bigger, better.” Jordan said.