By Sheena Williams
Killeen Daily Herald
Her older brother had uncased the gleaming curves and labyrinth of buttons on his saxophone and Song Mayo fell in love. The 13-year-old remembered wondering years ago if she could ever wield the daunting instrument, but she was determined to give it a try.
Her neatly painted fingernails skillfully maneuvered their way through a climbing scale of notes on her alto saxophone Tuesday.
She has been warming up all this week in the band room of Liberty Hill Middle School for the Middle School Extravaganza.
The Saturday performance is one of several she has under her belt but she is excited to see what other middle school bands have been working on this year and what she can look forward to in her musical studies through a performance from the Harker Heights High School Band.
Seven middle schools will take to Leo Buckley Stadium’s field to showcase their musical prowess for their families, friends and community. Martin Morgan, the organizer of the event, said it is also an opportunity for the middle school musicians to be inspired to use their musical talents in a high school band.
“With this program we’re able to let the parents come in and see what their child has worked on so far this year,” Morgan said. “This is our opportunity to bring the middle schools in and let them see one high school move through the field, and hopefully by this, we’ll convince them to continue on in their music. Because our high schools depend on them to fill spots as high school seniors graduate and universities depend on those high school students to fill their band vacancies.”
While looking pristine in his crisp marching uniform, head drum major Dylan Hall said the Heights’ High School Band is going to give it all they’ve got at the MSX. The high school senior said the band will be performing various styles of music including jazz and a traditional concert piece.
“We want to show a progression of music,” Hall said. “I thoroughly enjoy performances like this. The thing about the MSX is that it allows middle school kids to somewhat get an understanding of what high school band is going to be like. There’s just completely different group dynamics and even a wider range of abilities that you need to exhibit to be able to march and play at the same time in a high school band.”
These young musicians won’t directly be getting a percentage of the funds raised by the event but a portion of the proceeds will be donated to their music programs and the remainder will be provided as scholarship money for Heights High School seniors and their band’s activities and functions.
“I’m just hooked on music,” Mayo said. “When I was in middle and elementary school I never pictured myself being in band, but it just caught on me. When I started out, I thought I was going to be bad and not as good as I am now. What took me from that point to now is just a lot of practicing and confidence.”
If you go
What: Middle School Extravaganza
Where: Leo Buckley Stadium
When: Oct. 11 at 6 p.m.
Admission is $3. Children under 4 are free.