A clear sky. Low 57F. Winds light and variable..
A clear sky. Low 57F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: September 26, 2022 @ 8:29 pm
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From left, Spirit of Waxahachie Indian Band drum majors Owen Bartosh, Leah Gonzalez and Brianna Padron.

From left, Spirit of Waxahachie Indian Band drum majors Owen Bartosh, Leah Gonzalez and Brianna Padron.
Excellence, inspiration and positivity.
This is what the Spirit of Waxahachie Indian Band hopes to cultivate in the 2022-2023 school year.
Director Rich Armstrong believes the concept of being a champion is important for students to learn because it teaches them to aim for excellence and prepares them for the future.
“If kids can learn excellence here in our band program, when they graduate and they’re no longer doing band but they’re doing something else, they’ll have a moment in their life where excellence was the standard,” Armstrong said. “They understand what it looks like, and they understand how they got it.”
Armstrong said this understanding can help them with college, in their marriages, in their businesses, with their children and with how they treat others.
Seniors Leah Gonzalez and Brianna Padron are both drum majors, and this year, they hope to leave behind a legacy of inspiration.
Padron explained how when she joined band, she looked up to the drum majors and wanted to be successful like them. Now, she is where they once stood, and she hopes to inspire band members the same way she was inspired.
Gonzalez echoed Padron’s goals and said she hopes the band will remember the drum majors as people who made them feel “wanted, loved, appreciated and inspired.”
The drum majors have worked hard in collaboration with Armstrong and the section leaders to create a culture of success and positivity.
Junior Owen Bartosh is a drum major, and he said the band has lost a piece of its culture over the last couple years. Their goal is to bring it back this year. To do this, they are going out of their way to interact with everyone in band and make it a place people want to be.
“Making it an everyday job and focus to reinforce positivity and make sure that people want to be here,” Gonzalez said.
Bartosh said reinforcing positivity does not always include huge actions, but sometimes it is something small.
During the heat of summer practice, the drum majors walked around and placed pieces of ice on everyone’s head to cool them off.
Bartosh explained how small things like that helps bridge the gap between the drum majors and the band, allowing them to bond and work together as a team.
They have also hosted more events for the band like movie nights and kickball tournaments.
This year, Armstrong said they are focusing on tightening their systems and procedures. Armstrong and his team sat down and went over every detail of their procedures and worked out any kinks, making them simple and efficient. His hope is for every student to enter the band room and to know exactly what they need for every situation and where to find it.
“We think the system and procedure takes out a lot of the thinking for some things and allows us to really focus on the music and what we’re here for,” Armstrong said. “If we do that, everything else takes care of itself. You’ll play well. You’ll be competitive. You’ll have great performances all the time because the system and procedures lead to that, and then strong players make great concerts.”
Armstrong said this will open the door to more individual coaching for students. He said the band is only as good as its individual players, and he hopes to coach every player to a new level of excellence.
The band will begin its competition season and the road to state Oct. 8.
This year, the band has a new design team that has allowed its show to move forward quickly, according to Armstrong.
Bartosh, Gonzalez, Padron and Armstrong all expressed their gratitude to the community for supporting them and giving them someone to play for.
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