October 31, 2011
The GHS Pirate Band shined at the UIL Area B marching contest while performing their best show of the season.  The contest was held October 29, 2011, at Tommy Standridge Stadium in Carrollton.


“I was very pleased with our performance at area contest,” commented band director Mark Eastin, who is in his second year leading the Granbury band program.  “The kids were focused all day and gave their best performance of the season.”


The band had been preparing its marching show “A Child’s Garden of Dreams” for the competition since early August, with a three-week summer camp preceding the start of the school year – when the summer’s oppressive heat restricted outdoor practices to the morning.  The group awed crowds during football halftime programs and then had a busy October schedule on the road with invitational competitions prior to UIL contest.


The band members’ hard work paid off, Eastin stated.  “We definitely peaked at the right time.  It was great for the kids to perform in front of 8,000 knowledgeable fans” who packed the stands at the stadium, he said.


Although the band was not one of the six advancing to the state marching contest in San Antonio, Eastin was optimistic that the Granbury ensemble was on the right track.  “Not placing higher I know was disappointing to them, but the depth of quality bands at this contest is like no other area in the state,” the director said, referring to the thirty Class 4A bands representing four regions that performed in Carrollton. 


“We are in good company with several bands ranked around us who are perennial area finalists and state qualifiers that didn't make finals here,” Eastin remarked.  “We see it as another step in our progress to being a top-level band program and will learn and grow from the experience.”


The band advanced to area after earning a Division I superior rating from all three judges at the regional competition on October 22 at Burleson Stadium.  Only ten of the eighteen Region 7 bands in Class 4A made it to area.


The band had also participated in two invitational competitions – the HEB Marching Contest on October 15 at Bedford’s Pennington Field followed the band advancing to the finals at the Unleash the Sound Marching Festival held October 8 at Aledo Bearcat Stadium.  The percussion snared awards for best cymbal line and second place drumline in Aledo.  Cymbal players also won top marks at a previous HEB drumline competition on September 17.


The band is under the field direction of drum majors Ian Bird, Emily Hiler, and Phoebe Wallace.  Directors are Eastin and Tahlequah Kirk, who are assisted by middle school directors Scott Johnson, John Morgan, Roger Ramsey, and Tim Stevens with percussion specialist Buck Palmer and colorguard specialist Robert Holloway.