Reach for the Stars

MacArthur High School student Bailey Tillerson, Junior Editor

Each year the Mighty Cardinal Band pours out blood, sweat, and tears to bring all aspects of their marching performance together. This year the show was entitled “Out of this World.”

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Kyle Harvison, he had a major role in dreaming up the concept of the show, and was able to write the entire drill (sets/visuals) for the show.

In my interview with Harvison, he talked about bringing in outer space concepts into the show; “we wanted to convey blasting off, or the like countdown to blasting off… We wanted to convey the things that you see when you’re in outer space. We wanted to convey kind of coming back from outer space.” 

However, successfully incorporating these ideas is the time-consuming challenge. Harvison detailed how the concepts were actually used.

“There’s narration electronically that we’ve implemented into the show. The music we use with “Space Oddity” and “Rocket Man.”… conveys getting there, like we’re blasting off.  And then “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” – literally when you’re going to outer space it’s a pretty short ride in a really fast machine,” Harvison said.

Although challenging, the dedication from the directors to choose music and create drill along with the band’s hard work to learn the music and choreography creates a unified performance.

“[We] use the music from the Apollo 13 soundtrack… music that was meant to make people feel a certain way about outer space… [Finally], the last piece, “A Zillion Nickels,”… as soon as I heard it I was like “this has marching band written all over it.”

Facebook: @MacArthurBandPictures


Harvison expressed how he had much more confidence and peace leading up to UIL and other contests this season because he knew the band was ready where in past years there had been some major nerves and questions surrounding each performance of the show.


Although the long practice hours leading up to each performance is stressful, members of the Mighty Cardinal Band are always proud of the result and often wish the season would never end.

In a survey given to some competition band members, many responded that contests were their favorite part of marching season. Jayme Davis, a Sophomore clarinet player, said “My favorite part about marching season is the contests and football games. I love going to contests because you get to compete against other bands and see other bands’ performances. Football games are just always fun to play at and it’s fun to dance to the drum cadences.” Others however, replied that their favorite part was how band members get to spend tons of time with friends at practice, contests, games, and trips – making them like one giant family. 


As a final comment to his band members, Harvison said “Don’t give up because we we can achieve, gosh we can achieve so much more.” Mr. Harvison continued saying, “I don’t think they understand how much is left to achieve with this show. Now, whether they’re reading this or exposed to this after the fact will kinda determine whether or not they achieved it. But I think this is my favorite marching show I’ve ever been associated with for marching band. So I’m glad [we all] get to be a part of that.”

By the end of the 2017 season the MacArthur band had achieved unexpected heights  receiving straight 1’s at their UIL competition, 3rd place at the US Bands contest in Midlothian, and 1st place at the Classic on the Cane contest in Louisiana  the band truly did reach for the stars.


If you would like to watch the Mighty Cardinal Band perform please check out this link:
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