The Murrah High School band has been under the direction of Bryan Jefferson for 15 years and is famous for being an all SUPERIOR band. The term superior refers to scores in competitions that the band attends, competing against other school districts and other school bands. In order to become superior, a band must work together and focus on competition. A band director must decide on a field show. Then the band will perform that field show after many hot practices.To keep a superior rating a band has to practice. Though this is the most noteworthy commendation that the band has received, there is still a part of the band that is not often noticed by the untrained eye: the undying love among its members. Murrah’s band is a family. Mr. J sees the band as an opportunity to mentor and develop young lives and help them become who they are. Band is a very important part of the development of many young teens. Clarinet section leader Jayla Holliday explains that band has helped a lot of things occur in her life that would have never happened. An example is her leadership role in band. Jayla also said that band advanced her communication skills because she was a quiet person that is now more communicative and bold.
Along with developing students, band also requires discipline. In order to participate in Murrah band, you must attend the school, enroll in band class every school year, and follow the rules of the band and the school. The band has approximately one-hundred and thirty students every year, so discipline is a must. Holliday says, "Anybody can learn to play, but you gotta learn how to play right,” and “There are little things you have to do: getting at set [a term that means to remain still and focused during practice, so one can prepare for the performance], being quiet.” Along with musical skills, you must pay attention on the field and not goof off.
Prioritizing is also essential. Obviously, band is not the only popular extracurricular activity, so many students in band are involved in other organizations. Mr. J emphasizes that knowing how to prioritize is a part of 'Practicing Life’. ‘Practicing Life’ in band is confronting challenging situations and people and accepting certain opportunities. In band, one practices for those things. Mr. J thinks that at an early age certain things are important for you to learn. One must learn to organize, plan, and set goals. As an adult, these skills are necessary.
Band has changed not only the lives of students, but Mr. J’s, as well. Mr. J says that band gave him the opportunity to be involved in lives of people who others may have given up on already,to see the success even when you do not have resources that other people may have. Band has affected countless Murrah students, teachers, and families. Band is not just one family: it is one band, one sound.