The Van Alstyne Panther Band has already started preparations for another award-winning marching season, participating in summer band camp this month to learn new music and marching drills. The students are introducing their new 2017 show – “Checkmate” – to their parents and the community on Monday evening, Aug. 21, at 6 p.m., at the Van Alstyne Panther Football Stadium. Everyone is welcome to attend and get a taste of pre-season marching band.

Returning band members were welcomed back from summer break by Band Director Tim Fulton, who shared with them that their concert music recording, which had been entered in a State Honor Band competition at the end of last year, had advanced all the way to the finals, placing second in the state as the 3A Honor Band Runner-up. This was the first time the band had entered this competition, and Fulton expressed his appreciation for their efforts.

“The staff and I are very proud of the hard work you put into this, and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish in marching band season,” Fulton said.

This year is a “state” year for marching band, meaning that if the students advance past regional and area competitions, they will compete among the best 20 bands in Texas for top rankings. The State UIL competition is hosted every other year for 1A, 3A and 5A schools and alternate years for 2A, 4A and 6A schools. The Van Alstyne Band placed ninth in the State in the 2013-2014 school year and 7th in the State in the 2015-2016 school year, and so hopes to improve its rank even further this year.