What’s It Take to Make a Marching Band Go?

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Malik Latin

New band director poses for his student paparazzi while practicing during a fourth block class.

Makaylee Hester, Staff Writer

Pride! Much like their newly constructed band hall, The Pride of Pelahatchie Marching Band has too gone under renovation. 

This is William Ragland’s first year as Pelahatchie High School’s band director.  Ragland’s overall dream involves returning to a place he knew well. “It was back home where I wanted to be, and it already had a band with a great start. I wanted to come in and see what I could do with it: make it better and push it further,” said Ragland. 

Ragland has done extensive work since July’s band camp with this young band. Being hard at work, Ragland has retaught many necessary fundamentals, completely revamped the color guard by hiring guard instructor and choreographer Sarah Thames, and refounded the Band Booster Club. 

The new director has been pleasantly surprised by the drive he sees in his students. He says, “I thought I had a great group of kids that were passionate and really wanted to do more.That got me really excited because it encouraged me to push them and myself more, so we could achieve this higher standard than what we were at.” 

So, what makes achieving this higher standard possible? Well, according to Ragland, the recently completed band hall has been and essential asset to the band. “The new band hall is amazing. We have an amazing facility. It’s one of the nicest ones that I have ever seen at a school our size. We are incredibly fortunate to have it, and it will serve as an amazing asset for the foreseeable future.” 

But, Ragland does not plan on slowing down after marching season. He stated that he wishes to one day have seperate groups such as an indoor percussion and winter guard so that his students who do not play an instrument can hone their craft and compete with others all year long. With the goal of bringing home trophies, Ragland and this new facility are truly the pride of the Pelahatchie Marching Band.

A picture taken in Pelahatchie High School’s new band hall. Photo credit: Malik Latin