Director for the Pride of Durant Chris Gregg said the journey with the band started back in July of 2010 when they began their annual marching camp in preparation for the 2010- 2011 school year. He said all 112 students that make up the Pride of Durant arrived at the school around 7:30 a.m. each day, and have endured many hot and cold mornings on the DHS practice field over the school year.
With their saucy tunes from the “Conquest of Gold” showcase, the DHS Band managed to sweep categories like “Outstanding Music,” “Outstanding Drum Major,” “Outstanding Percussion,” “Outstanding Auxiliary,”“Outstanding General Effect,” and “Outstanding Marching” for the parade and marching showcase contests.
Gregg, who has taught at DHS for 13 years and has served 10 years as the director, said he thinks his students are some of the hardest working kids in the school. He said since band is not seasonal such as many other school activities, his students are always working on something that is band related, whether it be their marching show, Christmas show or their mid- winter patron and spring shows. The Pride of Durant is also known across the state of Oklahoma as an all star marching band. They perform at every high school football game and they also compete in many local, state and national competitions all over the country.
Gregg said after the Pride’s performance at the contest he was approached by contest officials who broke the good news about their victory. He said that’s when he decided to not tell the members about their victory and let them hear it on their own. “I felt like it would be very special for them, the kids went crazy,” said Gregg.
He said many of the other school’s involved with the competition gave a great response to the DHS band. The contest featured performances from schools around the country. Gregg said going to the contest he really didn’t know what the competition would be like and feels like officials were looking for a pre-game show that would “rile” up the big crowd before the game and that’s why they chose The Pride of Durant.
Many schools traveled across the United States to compete for the Alamo Bowl pre-game show with DHS being the only Oklahoma school in the competition. Pride member Carissa Karr said she felt very special and the experience at the Alamo Bowl was awesome because there were some very good bands that were there. According to the band director, the DHS Band averaged a score of 96 out of 100 at the contest. Gregg said his students were able to hear some great performances and perform one of their best shows at the bowl. The Pride of Durant is currently in the works for their next big performance which will be their mid-winter patron show that will feature music from Star Wars and Star Trek. The showcase will be held on Feb. 24 at the DHS auditorium.