Prairiland Band BW.jpg

The Prairiland High School band.

PATTONVILLE — Many people don’t think of it as such, but music is a highly mathematical art form. And this year, the Prairiland band will explore that concept in their newest show, titled “Symmetry of Sound.”

“It’s based on the music of J.S. Bach,” band director John Kilgo said. “It’s about balance and the essence of sound. The whole show will follow this theme, and all the visuals and props will also be based on symmetry.”

The idea of the piece came to Kilgo while watching “The Theory of Everything,” a biopic about the life of Stephen Hawking.

Though the school year just started, the Prairiland marching band has already made good headway in learning the piece despite a good deal of inexperience on the squad. Kilgo said he expects them to have it in shape to perform by the time the first competition rolls around on Sept. 25 at the Pleasant Grove Invitational in Texarkana, followed by the Princeton competition later that week. Then on Oct. 16, Prairiland hosts its own competition, named “Marching on the Prairie,” which will bring teams from far and wide to show what they’ve got

“We’ve got 20 eighth and ninth graders,” Kilgo said. “And in fact the freshmen outweigh the juniors and seniors combined.”

While the Texas government and UIL are easing restrictions and guidelines stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, Kilgo added that so far this year, the effects of the pandemic have been worse than they were in 2020.

“We got pretty lucky last year because we didn’t have too many kids get sick,” he said. “This year, we still haven’t had a lot of kids get sick, but it’s who’s gotten sick. At one point, half of our drumline was quarantined.”

Despite that, Kilgo said he’s been impressed with their abilities thus far.

“Their biggest strength is their attitude,” he said. “They’re invested and they’re very quick learners.”

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

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