Oak Ridge Band Brings Donation to FDNY

Oak Ridge Band member Tyler Humphrey with firefighters at the station where the band dropped off the donation.

Band seniors at FDNY

Tuesday the Oak Ridge High School Band, in New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, visited a a fire station to present them with the donations raised from the band’s Miracle on 34th Street fundraising campaign. The fundraising effort, benefiting the New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation, was something our Oak Ridge kids undertook in November, to give something back to the city that is providing the band and ORHS with an opportunity to shine on a national stage.

Oak Ridge Band director Jack Allen with an FDNY firefighter

The fire department they visited included a chalk board, now encased in glass (pictured above, to the left of Tyler Humphrey), with the shift schedule from 9-11-2001. It lists the captain and four others from that shift.

Band president Evan Moore scoping out the performance area

The band also took the opportunity to check out some of the parade route, including the performance area in front of Macy’s.

 

The weather forecast in New York City Thursday morning is blustery, with temperatures expected to be in the 40s, sustained winds up to 23 mph, and wind gusts up to 35 mph. Hold on to those hats!

Band president Evan Moore at the Macy's awards luncheon

9th grade campus principal Julie Miller at the Hard Rock Cafe

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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How Did the ORHS Band Earn a Spot in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The Oak Ridge High School band is performing this Thursday morning in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo courtesy of Chuck Briese

The Oak Ridge High School Marching Band is in the big city of New York gearing up for their Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade performance.

As told to Oak Ridge Now by ORHS band director, Jack Allen, we take a closer look at how this grand opportunity came to fruition and how they have prepared leading up to the big day.

 How did the band earn a spot in the Macy’s Parade?

 All bands that are in the parade apply for a performance opportunity by March 1st – 18  months before the parade.  We submitted an application that consisted of a performance DVD, director bios, band resume, newspaper articles, and photographs of the band.  There were over 160 bands that applied and 11 were selected for the parade.  High school, college, and professional bands applied, and we were one of the eleven that were selected from all over the world to participate in the 2012 parade.

What have you been doing to prepare? This is a big parade so you must have a lot of material to work on. 

We have mostly been conditioning the kids for the 2.5 mile parade route through Manhattan.  We have been marching 10 laps around our track every day to help build up their endurance.  We have also been learning the drill to our 1 minute 15 second show that we will perform on NBC.  We will perform this show at the game tonight vs. TWHS both to the home and visitor stands.

As far as music goes, we have been working on our music for the parade for over a month now.  We are the last band to march in the parade (save the best for last!!!) and we are bringing in Santa Clause.  Our parade theme is Winter Wonderland, so we have been playing Christmas music since the middle of October.

How did the band do in the regional competition earlier this month?

The band competed at the Bands of America Super Regional in San Antonio at the beginning of November.  The band had a great performance in the Alamo Dome in front of thousands of people.  Our score improved over the course of the season by about 5 points (pretty big in the band world), and we’re really proud of our kids for their hard work this fall.

Because you were in the band competition you had to miss the Lufkin/Oak Ridge game. When a conflict exists like your having a comp to go to, how do you collaborate with the junior highs to make sure everything goes off as smoothly as possible at the football game? 

We have awesome Jr. High Directors in Josh Gibson at Irons and Amanda Pritchard at York.   We had been planning this football game with them since May.  It’s a big stretch to get 300 Jr. High Kids ready for anything, but to have them be able to perform at a football game and do it well takes a lot of preparation.  

Mrs. Pritchard and Mr. Gibson and the York and Irons bands have been been looking forward to this game since we started talking about it last year.

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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Band Hopes to Create Its Own Miracle on 34th Street

Photo courtesy of Chuck Briese

The Oak Ridge War Eagle Marching Band is headed to New York later this month to perform in the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. They’ll not only be performing in front of a huge NYC crowd, but they’ll also be seen by millions of viewers around the world, representing their school, our community, and the State of Texas.

That’s cool. Really cool. What’s better? They are not just thinking of themselves for this once in a lifetime opportunity. The Oak Ridge band directors, members, and boosters are looking to make an even bigger impact on the streets of New York City. They are organizing the War Eagles’ Miracle on 34th Street fundraising campaign.

The mission of this campaign is to raise funds for the New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation, which has provided support for many communities that have suffered the wrath of Superstorm Sandy. The Foundation has been an integral part of the rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts assisting the victims of this massive storm.

Oak Ridge High School is seeking donations from members of our community and their friends and family. The goal is to raise as much money as possible, and to present all raised funds to the Foundation during the band’s trip to New York.

They are asking that all checks be made out to the New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation, and delivered to the band before Friday, November 16. We encourage everyone to donate something if they are able, and make the Oak Ridge fundraising campaign a success.

Also, sometime this holiday season, take a couple of hours and watch the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street. It’s now 75 years old, and it’s still a terrific story. The scene where Kris Kringle talks to the Dutch girl is wonderful, as is the movie’s most famous line, “Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.”

Common sense says that there’s no way in the world the Oak Ridge High School band would perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Have faith, Oak Ridge.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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Oak Ridge Band Honors Seniors and Their Parents

Photo courtesy of Chuck Briese

Last Friday night, before the football game vs. Bryan at Woodforest Stadium, the Oak High School Band honored the Senior Class and their parents. They pretty much have to honor the parents after all those folks have been through over the past seven or eight years: those oh-so-glorious middle school band concerts, the cost or purchasing and maintaining instruments, band camp, band trips, early morning band practice, volunteer work with the band, fundraising that seems to go on forever, and the joy of listening to one’s child learn a new instrument.

Without band parents, ORHS would not have an award-winning band. They deserve any accolades they can grab. If you missed it, here are some pictures of last Friday night’s festivities.  

Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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Tee It Up for the Oak Ridge Band

The Oak Ridge High School Marching Band is hosting its 2nd annual golf tournament on Saturday, March 26th to raise funds for music scholarships. The group is seeking corporate and individual sponsors to partner with them to help students further their education and become tomorrows leaders.

Last year at the inaugural event, the band raised $4,000.00 and they hope to double that mark this year. There are several levels of sponsorship ranging from gift cards to a $3500.00 Platinum package. For sponsorship details, you can call Tournament Chair, Tina Giampaolo at 281-651-4242 or email Tina at tina@planetruthgolf.com.

Checks are made payable to ORHS Band and can be mailed to:

Tina Giampaolo
2918 E. Lake Falls Circle
Spring, Texas 77386

The Oak Ridge High School band has a strong tradition of excellence in winning many awards across the state to include the 2009 United States Scholastic Band Association state championship in their competing class.  Comprised of 200 members who pride themselves on their level of integrity and class, these hard working musicians always thrive to be the best they can be.

Tournament details

Saturday, March 26th

River Plantation Country Club
550 Country Club Drive
Conroe, Texas 77302

Registration: 12pm

Start Time: 1pm Shotgun

See you at RP!

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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The Music Never Stops for Oak Ridge Band

Hey check this out, we were due for a band article so I thought I had a great idea. Put this idea in the ignoramous/clueless category. I inquired with my “band Guy”, Jack Allen as to what the band off season activities consist of. I just figured like football, baseball, soccer, etc… that every school activity has an off season.

Well, Mr Allen gave me one of those “Wow, you are so clueless but I will be polite and humble you” looks. Jack proceeded to give me one of the most comprehensive band activity dissertations of all time. What was so impressive was that he was so good at explaining it all, even I understood. The following is what I learned about the “YEAR ROUND” Oak Ridge band activities. Let it be known from here on out that band has no off season.

The band “offseason” never really happens until the kids are out of school for the summer. Even then, the band kids probably get the shortest break of any group in the school.

The rehearsals for the concert season start as soon as the football season is over as they immediately begin to prepare for the Holiday Concert. The performers are split up into four bands based on ability. The bands are the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band I and Concert Band II. Jack Allen directs the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band II, Jerriald Dillard the Symphonic Band, and Albert Vela the Concert Band I.

Throughout the marching season, the students are preparing for the All Region Band Auditions that happen the first weekend in December. While they are practicing eight hours a week after school for the marching band, they are taking private lessons on their instruments, and practicing individually for this audition. This is the first audition on the road to All State. This year, they had 26 band members earn placement into the Region IX All Region Band. Of these, four advanced to the Area Band Audition where they auditioned for the Texas All State Band. Oak Ridge did not have any students make the All State Band this year. However, they had a trumpet player, Rutger Yager place only two away from earning this high honor.

As soon as the Holiday Concert is finished which is usually around the 15th of the month, the bands prepare for the UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest. Every student who is a member in the band will compete in this competition on their instrument individually or in small ensembles of instruments. This contest is held on February 18th and the kids have the chance to advance to the State Solo and Ensemble Contest that is held in May at the University of Texas.

The biggest and most educational time of the year is the spring semester. Currently, they are working on music to perform for the UIL Concert and Sightreading contest that is held in April. The top three bands are working to each learn a march and two selections of music to perform for this contest. They will play a concert consisting of prepared music for three judges who each give a rating from I–V with I being the Superior Rating. Immediately after performing the concert, they are taken into a room and given a brand new piece of music that neither the kids nor the director have ever seen before. The band is then given 10 minutes to learn this music, without playing the instruments, and is expected to perform the music for three more judges who give another rating from I – V. “It’s an amazing process that is incredibly stressful, but incredibly rewarding for our kids”, stated Jack Allen.

Immediately following UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest, the band leaders will take the kids to San Antonio to compete in the Alamo Showcase of Music in mid-April. Mr. Allen likes this excursion:

“This is a fun trip for the kids as we will get to go to SeaWorld and Fiesta Texas while we are there. There will be bands competing from all over the state in a concert contest that is judged again by three judges that have most likely never heard our program before.”

When the band is finished with UIL and the Spring Trip, they begin to prepare for the Spring Concert that takes place in mid-May. The band will learn 3-4 completely new pieces of music for this concert as the kids and leaders celebrate the end of the school year.

Immediately following the Spring Concert, the leaders get the kids ready for the next marching season. The music for the fall is in hand and they start learning this during the school day. There is a camp with the 8th graders where Mr. Vela and the older kids teach the incoming freshmen how to march. The week after school is out, the leaders have the band kids up at Oak Ridge high school for the week as they begin learning the music with the freshmen and practice marching.

The kids then get about six weeks off in the summer. They will then start it all up again on July 29th with the officers and August 1st with the entire band. Through all of this spring semester, the Oak Ridge nationally recognized percussion ensemble, under the direction of Jerriald Dillard, is working after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays as they prepare their program for their percussion ensemble concert.

The five time state champion color guard starts working on their indoor show immediately following football season. They rehearse two nights a week as well as all day on Saturdays to prepare their program for the Texas Color Guard Circuit competitions as well as the Winter Guard International regionals and World Championships in Dayton, Ohio in April. Oak Ridge has two color guards, Varsity and JV, that are under the direction of Tom Harrington. These groups compete from January through April in contests in Houston and across the state.

A select few Oak Ridge band members have auditioned and will be performing in the musical “Oklahoma!” with members of the ORHS Orchestra, Choir, and Theater departments. The fine arts department has been working since November on this musical, and the kids began learning their music under the direction of Albert Vela and Linda Nicolosi upon return from the break. The musical debuts on January 27th and runs through the 29th. Mr. Allen encourages the public to attend, “This is a team effort with the entire fine arts department and it is a great show. Tickets can be purchased at lunches at ORHS this week and next for $8, or bought at the door for $10.”

This year, the Wind Ensemble will be submitting a recording to the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. They will be competing against bands from all over the country for an invitation to perform a concert at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago in December of this year. If selected, they will be among 5-6 high school bands from all over the country to perform at this clinic.

To prepare for this recording, the students will be rehearsing after school every day with their sections as well as individually on their own. They will also be having some Saturday rehearsals as they prepare for the recording they will make the week before Spring Break.

I always thought that the marching season was the granddaddy of all band activities. Little did I know that although it is a huge part of band, so much more is involved when looking at the whole music picture. Jack Allen was nice enough to sum it all up:

“People ask me all the time if I am excited that marching season is over and the truth is that I look forward to the marching season because we work less than we do the rest of the school year. The difference is that it is outside in the heat, but the hours that our directors put in actually picks up after marching season is over. The kids’ organized rehearsal schedule is dramatically less, but their individual responsibilities pick up during the concert season.”

So now you know a whole heck of a lot more about the Oak Ridge band picture than you used to. I know I do!

You know, we’ve covered the band about five times since October and each time we continue to be amazed at all of the work that goes on in that building behind that tractor trailer.

One of these days, I’m writing about a school activity that actually HAS an off season. You know what? I’ll be interviewing the Ag’ department next… no way does that agriculture stuff go on year round.

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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One Band, One Sound – ORHS Drumline Wins

The Oak Ridge High School Drumline, under the direction of Mr. Jerriald Dillard, traveled to Lewisville, Texas last weekend for the Lonestar Drumline Competiton, where they took top honors in Division 2.  These students are among the hardest working groups in the school, staying many hours after the rest of the band has gone home.  Their hard work has paid off as they took First Place and Best of Show for their division.  They also received awards for Best Bassline and Best Front Ensemle.  They did a modified version of the band’s “What If” half-time performance.  They made their school, fellow band members, parents, and band directors very proud!

Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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Oak Ridge Band Marching Forward

The Oak Ridge high school band performed at the UIL Area F competition Saturday at Galena Park ISD. 30 bands were in attendance for the contest. In order to advance, all of the bands had to earn a first division rating at their UIL Regional contest.

Out of the 30 bands, ten advance to the finals the same evening, and six advance to the State Marching Contest in San Antonio on November 2nd.  The Oak Ridge Band tied for 10th place, but lost in the tie breaker to Klein Oak High School.  This is the highest placement that the Oak Ridge Band has ever earned at the Area Marching Contest.

Every time this group goes to a competition they do better than the organization has ever done. This trend seems to be contagious throughout the school as over the last year every organization has been improving.

Last November, the volleyball team won the first ever 5-A playoff series for ORHS. The basketball team advanced to the 3rd round of the playoffs. The golf team was ranked #3 in the state during their season. Baseball took the #1 state ranked team (Klein) to extra innings in the playoffs before falling in eight. Marshall has the tennis team playing to the best of their ability. The list goes on and on.

The band’s next and final contest is on Saturday, October 30th at Woodforest Stadium for the USSBA Texas State Championships.  The band’s performance time is at 7:04 p.m. Let’s go check em out!

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com
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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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Life Lessons Gleaned from Marching Band

The other day I was doing some off-season workouts with one of my lacrosse goalies who plays for The Woodlands Lacrosse team. What’s funny is although lacrosse in my opinion is the greatest activity ever invented, my goalie thinks playing the tuba is better. He doubles as a member of The Woodlands High School band. Incidentally, I tell Logan (Mullen) all about Oak Ridge’s band success and he gets so pumped. Evidently, band people stick together.

My reason for writing this piece was because in working with Logan for a few years, I always noticed his positioning was excellent right from the start. You see, when you play in the goal your back is to the goal so you have to maintain a weird sense of knowing where you are without looking at all times.

So anyway, I asked Logan why he thinks he has this effortless quality. Of course, at this time I had no idea what his extracurricular activities were. He came back with “I am in a marching band”. Honestly, I thought he was joking and I started laughing hysterically as my lacrosse stick fell out of my hands. When I collected myself, I looked over at him and he had this straight face. I did one of those double takes knowing I just made a total butt of myself. I looked him right in the eye and told him I was sorry but that I just didn’t get it.

The retort from the toughest tuba player ever known to man? “It’s common sense Coach! Do you think I can march around a football field with a heavy instrument while playing music and not have a good sense of where I am?”

Point taken!

This motivated me to write an article. I immediately called Oak Ridge High School Band Director, Jack Allen, and asked him if he might enlighten me as to what the short and long term benefits are for band members. Certainly, I thought it wasn’t all about playing an instrument trying to win awards. I am assuming what these kids take from band are life lessons just like a baseball or football player does if they have the right leaders. Working with others means being disciplined, responsible and unselfish.

Enter Jack Allen and he will take it from  here:

“Probably the best benefit that a musician can take away from playing an instrument is the level of individual discipline that is required to master the instrument. In our activity, we strive for perfection. When our kids go to contests or auditions, the main focus of the adjudicators is to look and listen for things that they do incorrectly. There are also many times when a kid is rewarded for doing something great, but if there are errors in their performance, it takes away from the impact of the performance.

Our kids that are successful in other areas of their lives take the discipline that they learn from striving for perfection in music and apply this to the other areas of their day to day tasks. Through developing muscle memory, working through problems and adding in the creative/artistic element to what we do, this usually leads to a well rounded individual.

I think that in all other sports or activities, athletes can afford to make a mistake and still recover the next time they have a similar opportunity. With music,once a mistake is made, you never have the opportunity to go back in that performance and have a redo. This kind of “performance stress” is what makes our activity unique.

Most of our students that are successful in their classes and continue onto successful careers take the approach of “do it right the first time, every time” with them and that is how they experience a high amount of success.

Our band program is set up to run like a corporation. We have student leaders throughout the band program. We put these student leaders through a rigorous audition process and a few days of training before we see all of the kids in August. Throughout the year, the student leaders are given a high amount of responsibility in their sections as well as the entire program. We have a hierarchy of leadership that goes from our Drum Majors, all the way down to our historians. Every person has their own assigned duty on game days and contest days. If each person is not responsible for their job, then the whole operation will fail.

Through these responsibilities that the kids have in our program, they are learning how to operate as a team, how to lead and more importantly, how to follow for the good of the entire group. These are skills that transfer directly into the real world as the kids leave us and begin their careers.

We stress that we are teaching our kids life skills through the use of music. We are able to put a good product out there for entertainment purposes, but the behind the scenes things that our kids are doing is what will set them up to be successful in life. The best part of what our kids do is make great music and put together great marching shows as part of a team with some of their closest friends. The rewards of placing high at a contest or getting a standing ovation at a concert or football game is all icing on the cake to what is really going on with the kids each and every day.”

Thank you Jack Allen!

Working with kids is all about helping them develop into good human beings. Like Jack said, the rewards they earn are nothing compared to what they are learning in order to become great people down the road. People like Jack Allen are rewarded when kids come back years later and tell them how much their teachings have helped them.

Sure, these kids appreciate what the leaders are doing to some degree now. However, it will take years before they realize the full extent of what was going on.  When they do, they usually come back and say thank you.

Nothing means more to a leader than that very moment.

It was a little different for me. I hated my high school baseball coach and I wanted to assassinate him every day. The hatred remained into my 20’s. I was about 27 when I realized how he was the best thing to happen to me and probably the main reason I didn’t end up incarcerated or dead. Now, when I go back to my hometown, Coach is the first person I see. That along with contacting him every month 31 years after I played for him.

You know, I guess there’s something to be said about the importance in knowing how you don’t have to try to make friends with these kids to relate to them or help them. If you are good at what you do, it doesn’t matter if they like you all the time now… The key is to see that they like you all the time “later”.

Doug Sarant can be reached at doug@oakridgenow.com

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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Ridge Band Takes Another Step Toward State

The Oak Ridge Band competed in the Region IX UIL Marching Competition on Tuesday and earned a first division rating from all three judges.

The reward for this first division rating? Well, this awesome band has now qualified for the Area Marching Contest to be held at Galena Park ISD Stadium on Saturday, October 23rd where they will compete for a chance at advancing to the UIL 5A State Marching Contest.

Band Director Jack Allen was ecstatic, “The band had a great performance on Tuesday night.  We are so proud of the kids for how hard that they have been working since August.  This is an incredible accomplishment for our band.”

Although the band has advanced to the area round in the past, it has never made it to the 5A
State Marching Contest.  This opportunity to advance comes up every two years.

Good luck to the band as they continue to impress!!!

Doug Sarant can be reached at doug@oakridgenow.com.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

More Posts - Website