Chisum band.jpg

Chisum band

Last year was anything but normal for local bands thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but this year, with Texas UIL easing restrictions, the Chisum marching band is confident they’re poised for a great year.

“Things have been going good so far,” director John Marsh said. “We took a small hit in numbers last year because of Covid, but we’ve bounced back this year and we’ve got a great group.”

This year, the Mustangs’ halftime show is titled “A Question of Time,” and as its name suggests, its songs all concern the passage of time.

“A lot of the songs are about clocks and time, it includes “Clocks” by Coldplay, and some other great songs that fit with that theme. It’s a really fun, eclectic mix,” Marsh said.

The music is supplemented by some work with props that has Marsh excited for when it all comes together.

“We’ve got a lot of props like a really big clock that we’re going to use,” he added. “We got with the show designer, and he’d originally written this show for another school. But then that school wasn’t able to do it last year because of the virus, so we were able to do it this year, which I’m very happy about.”

Already, the band has nearly learned the entire show.

“Our kids always work hard, and they’re getting better each day,” Marsh said.

This year marks a first for Chisum, as the school will host its own band competition in the lead up to the UIL competition.

Whereas most competitions feature a performance followed by an impersonal adjudication, this contest will allow the competing bands to get direct feedback from, and rehearsals with, the judges who will come to score the various teams.

“It’s an idea we’ve been tossing around for a few years now,” Marsh said. “Usually we go to a handful before UIL, and sometimes the feedback is something we already knew or it’s something that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to us. That why I thought this was a good idea.”

Chisum’s contest, which will feature several regional bands including Rivercrest, Cooper, Leonard and Como-Pickton, will be hosted Sept. 25.

Not long after that, the band will be off to UIL regionals, where Marsh said the sky is the limit.

“It sounds cliche, and I’m sure every band director says it, but we really have the best kids here at Chisum,” he said. “They’re smart, they’re great at rolling with the punches and they play for one another. It’s every coach’s dream.”

Tommy Culkin is sports editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at

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