Middle School Band Students

Let’s face it.  Middle school can be hard.  It’s that time in your life when you are growing, changing and finding your own identity.   For Furlough Middle School eighth grade band students Gerardo Juarez, Annette Armendariz, Brighton Craig and Angel Santos, being a member of the middle school band has not only helped them to find community, but the four students also happen to be pretty talented. 

Gerardo Juarez, who plays the flute, says that joining the band was something that sparked his interest in elementary school. “The band came to my elementary school to play and it caught my attention,” he shared. “I loved the rhythms that they played and I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of it.” 

For flute player Anette Armendariz and oboe player Angel Santos, band has always been a family affair. “My older sister played the clarinet and saxophone,” shared Anette.  “I would listen to her practice and I knew that it was something I wanted to do.”   Angel shared that he always believed that music was a way for people to come together and have fun. “My older brother, Luis, was the Terrell High School drum major two years ago and watching him have fun with his band friends while also working together towards a common goal was inspiring to me.” 

The students shared that band has taught them a number of qualities such as teamwork and patience. “It’s taught us how to collaborate and work together,” shared Gerardo.  

Recently the students auditioned for and were selected for the All-Region band, an honor reserved for less than 350 students across the DFW metroplex.  Trumpet player Brighton Craig shared that the selection process was tedious. “I really had to step up my game and I practiced a lot,” she shared.  “I didn’t expect to place and then when I saw my name on the list I was so excited.”  Anette shared that the try out process helped her to become more confident. “I tend to get really nervous so when I would practice I would pretend it’s the real thing.” 

On January 20, all of their hard work paid off.  The four students joined their fellow All-Region band members for a long and grueling rehearsal day - ten hours to be exact - and played a concert for the public that evening. 

The experience of playing with the All-Region band has made them excited for what lies ahead - high school marching band. All four plan to continue playing at the high school level and look forward to their next musical chapter. “Band is really fun and I am so glad I joined,” shared Gerardo.  All four students said they would encourage any fifth grader thinking about joining the band to do so. “It’s definitely worth being a part of and giving it a try,” shared Brighton.  

“Band is about perseverance,” Angel stated. “People think if they are not a good player right away, they should quit.  It takes time and with a little practice you can find your purpose.”