The students of the MHS Royal Pride set high standards of achievement for themselves this year. From the beginning of “boiler room” hot parking lot practices in the Summer through the seasons first Blue Norther and on to the UIL Area competition The Pride of McKinney has persevered and grown. Directors Ken Ringel, Marcus Hunley, John Wilmarth and Brandon Clemmons have taken to heart every criticism offered by judges at all contests and provided the band with a roadmap for success.
While the directors can provide the instruction, the band must find the discipline and drive within themselves to do the work… and then do it again… for the fifteenth time. Time and again the Royal Pride has gone back to the “practice lot” to tune and fine tune. The band has pushed themselves harder and gone farther than any other Band in since MHS went 4A.
The Royal Pride Marching Band went into the UIL Area Marching Contest last weekend on the heels of straight 1s at UIL Regionals with high hopes of becoming the first McKinney Band to make it to the State Marching Finals since the MISD began creating new High Schools after the turn of the century.
Taking the field just before 1 p.m. local time the Royal Pride once again demonstrated poise and precision in further perfecting their program “Time”. During prelims they placed in the top 10 assuring them a spot in the evening march off where the top 6 Marching Bands would earn a trip to the Alamo Dome for State Finals.
Facing off against 9 other bands for the twi-nighter, 8 of them previous State qualifiers, the Royal Pride put their entire heart and soul into a performance that was one of the best of the year. For MHS their Part 3 movement, “Time’s Up” would prove prophetic however as they finished the night in 7th place a mere 1 point shy of unseating the 6th place Aledo Bearcat Regiment for the last coveted “spot on the bus to State Finals” in San Antonio.
Competitions are a testing of sorts. We keep score because we need to have an end result to measure ourselves against. One point… one placement.. one trip to San Antonio that might as well be one thousand miles away. The score… the “one” point… they are final in their description of where the Royal Pride landed in 2011 when time was “up”. Yet the finality of that one point is only a snap shot, never complete and often devoid of the true measure of a person, a section or this band.
We often try to provide pictures, commentary and story to capture an event and bring it intimately close for the reader, giving you a glimpse of the experience and hopefully allowing you to be there if only for a brief moment. For those who have followed the Royal Pride through TSB articles the past several years this time there is no detailed recap of events, no color commentary, nor a break down and explanation of judging to follow. The true measurement of The Pride of McKinney can not be found nor fairly captured in my descriptions or commentary. Rather, it is found in who they have become. And for that I bow to the band themselves.
To the Royal Pride – Your heart, efforts, discipline, craziness, hope and utter relentlessness have authored this story and it is only appropriate that you finish it with the words from your hearts.
Magalie “Niinja” Pelletier – 2013
I’ve never been struck by defeat so hard… Nothing can be worse than loosing by one point, being seventh place… My heart goes out to the seniors. If you watched finals at area, see how much we’ve improved! it makes me feel so much better knowing in that little time span(marching season), how much we’ve grown as a family, “time flies”… and now “it’s time for it to heal” ♥
Bobby Betz – 2013
Hey.. We made it this far, I couldn’t be more proud of being apart of the McKinney Royal Pride Band. The best experience ever!
Katie Morris – 2013
I love my band family… It feels amazing to be apart of something so great. We came up short but we gave it our all… We had 2 amazing performances and for one reason or another it just didn’t happen for us. I know The Royal Pride Band will get em’ next time! ♥
Stone McAuley – 2015
I am proud to be part of the MHS Royal Pride. Yes it is sad that we didn’t make it to state but think of how much we’ve accomplished this season. I love this band, and the members.
Niko Koock – 2014
I am proud of y’all MHS Royal Pride Band we gave it our all, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of band people, I love you guys and everything happens for a reason.
Elizabeth Prokop – 2014
I’m proud to say the Royal Pride Band made it this far, but sadly this is were this years season ends… but we made it farther than ANY McKinney Band ever has, that is definitely and accomplishment that we can all look back and say, “We were part of That McKinney Band!”
Kenny Baird – 2011 (Former MHS Drum Major, United States Air Force – ROTC)
I’m so proud of the McKinney High School Royal Pride Band! One point away from going to State! It is an amazing accomplishment. No band in McKinney has ever made it that far before! Y’all are paving the way for the Royal Pride to make it to State in the future.
Remember- eyes, with pride.
Eyes, with pride!
Katie Morris – 2013
Man how “time flies”… It might take “time to heal” after last night but guys… Our time is almost up. Give it your all this week. For the seniors… ♥
Sydney Vrtis – 2014
We kicked some serious booty last night! I’m so proud of you guys ♥ Don’t cry b/c we didn’t make it, but for all the hard work we’ve accomplished ♥ I’m so sorry seniors & juniors, but if we do go to State my senior year our performance will be dedicated to you guys ♥ I love you guys ♥
James Greenhaw – 2013
Dear Mckinney High School Royal Pride Band,
I realize that our hearts are heavy with sadness, and our bodys tired from a long journey, but as our season comes to a very unforeseen and sudden close, I implore all of you : Do NOT have any regrets. Finals and Pre-Lims were clear signs that the Royal Pride Band is filled with amazing people, and talented musicians. The judges opinion is the only reason why we didn’t advance. We as a band were amazing, we fought for it, threw it down, and left it on the field. Friends, ever since this season started, I have seen bonds form, relationships kindled, handshakes executed, and family ties strengthen. Please, do not dwell on the negative. Do NOT blame yourselves for anything, for everything that we did was outstanding. I know that hearing that phrase may not be swallowed well by some, but just think…think of what you have accomplished…. what WE have accomplished. Words can not express how amazing everyone is, and there is no expression to describe how honored I am to have known and performed with all of you this season. Even if we didn’t make it to state, keep in mind that we have advanced farther than ANY Mckinney band, and that we have definitely made our mark. Try not to focus on the negative, but the many many many positives that have happened. Despite our placement, everyone deserves to be congratulated. Thank you all for everything.
Stone McCauley – 2015
Thanks to all of the people that have made this an amazing first marching season ever. It is easily one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. Let’s go and destroy the competition next weekend and show Frisco Centennial what they are missing.
Emily Stallbaumer – 2014
Even though we didn’t make it to state, we did spectacular. At Centennial we are going to do amazing and people are going to ask why we aren’t going to state. But think about it this way, we are stepping stones for the Mckinney High band that goes to state. The band is only going to get better with each year and one day it’s going to be unstoppable
Jessica Rae Cupples – 2014
MHS Royal Pride Band, every single one of you makes me proud to say I am apart of it. We are a family of amazing individuals who come together to be an even more amazing whole. Linger not on what didn’t happen, but on what did. We turn heads, guys. Our show is one of brilliance, put together by very talented people. This is just a taste of what we can truly be. If we are this amazing now, imagine what we can be in a years time. Seniors, the time and diligence you have put into this season and this band will not be forgotten. Your time with MHS Royal Pride Band may be up, but you have many great things in your future. This is a bummer, I know, but don’t let it hinder the progress we make the rest of this year. I love you, Seniors. And for the Freshman, this is just the beginning for you. prepare yourselves for three more years of excellence, we’re taking the world by storm. ♥ We WILL dominate. And for the whole band, we have still have Centennial. Get ready to rock their worlds!
The MHS Royal Pride Marching Band will end their season Saturday 11/5 at the 5th annual Frisco Centennial Marching Festival at Frisco Memorial Stadium (6927 Stadium Lane – 75034). They will be in competition with Wakeland who has a seat on the bus to San Antonio, two time Centennial Grand Champion, Mesquite Poteet and a host of other formidable North Texas Marching Bands. Frisco Centennial, 1st place in Area Finals last weekend, will also be performing an exhibition. If you have a middle schooler who will some day march as a Bronco, Bulldog or Lion this competition would be great to view as many of the best North Texas Marching Bands will be present with perfected routines. McKinney North, also a participant in last Saturday’s UIL Area B competition, will be competing in a separate division from MHS.
The Royal Pride of McKinney is scheduled to roar at 4:15 pm. Best be in your seat and strapped down by 4pm.
See you on the field,
Cal & Kim Van Wagner