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Education

April 16, 2012

DHS band keeps winning streak alive

DUNCAN — Duncan High School’s band is on the best kind of streak — a winning streak — during it has taken sweepstakes at state three consecutive years.

The band received the 2012 state sweepstakes award, following competition last week and it added to a skein the program has been fashioning. The band received superior scores in concert and site reading, which led to another sweepstakes prize.

“Three years in a row is just amazing,” director Jeramy Haas said of the sweepstakes streak. “It’s one of those things .. we were speechless. We are extremely happy.

“They have done a lot of work.”

The band might be under direction of Haas and the assistant band director Dawn Haas, but this year’s 16 seniors were given the task of helping younger band mates grow as musicians and develop their skills.

Reaching the pinnacle of success three years in a row is no easy accomplishment, and band members couldn’t help but be proud.

“I’m excited,” senior Ali Oldright said. “We’re the only band in our class (5A) who has done this.”

The three-year streak also maintains a Duncan tradition of band department production. Since 1985, the band has received at least 15 sweepstakes awards. Haas said there are probably more, but only the plaques from 1985 and on have been located.

The band received a few more plaques as a result of winning sweepstakes and receiving superior ratings.

“It speaks a lot to the success of the band,” Haas said. “It’s a good statement about what this band program has accomplished over the years.”

Diego Diaz, another band senior, said the sweepstakes success is a result of a lot of hard work put into making the band standout, and it’s the same work the band has shown in the past few years.

“It’s difficult to get a ‘three-peat,’” Diaz said.

All of this year’s seniors have been in the band since sixth grade. They have grown up together and have honed their skills together. And they have won together.

Senior Taylor Neal said the band preparation regimen can be stressful at times, because Haas expects a lot out of the seniors. The veterans are set up as role models for the rest of the musicians.

“It’s like they’re (Jeramy and Dawn Haas) our parents,” Neal said. “They expect a lot from us.”

Jeramy Haas said some school bands are selective in which performers they take to competition, choosing only their highest-level musicians.

Duncan’s band, on the other hand, takes the entire group, from the strongest players to the those still developing their skills.

“It’s a major team effort,” Haas said. “They all have to pull their own weight.”

Although competition season is now over, the band will perform its spring concert at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8 at the DHS auditorium.

The percussion concert is set for 7 p.m. Monday, May 7, at the auditorium.

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