Semi Dedicated To Past Staff, Students, Administrators Who Built The SSISD Band Program
The Sulphur Springs ISD Band program‘s new trailer was a big hit during the ceremonial reveal Wednesday evening.
Lead by a police car, the blue and gold semi trailer rolled down Houston Street and into the visitor parking lot at Gerald Prim Stadium Wednesday evening, where it received applause and cheers from an ecstatic gathering.
At the Community-Wide Reveal & Dedication Ceremony Nov. 11, SSISD Director of Bands Spencer Emmert was as giddy as his students after getting his first glimpse of the semi trailer, trimmed in Wildcat colors with Sulphur Springs Band on the side and the band’s introductory phrase, “Man, oh, man that Wildcat Band” on the back door of the trailer.
“We are dedicating this trailer to the all of the past staff, students, administration from Sulphur Springs Band, who have worked so hard to build this band program, year after year, decade after decade,” Emmert said.
This is Emmert’s 19th year to be affiliated with the SSISD band program, 15 as band instructor. The 4 years he directed the Winnsboro band, he and his family still lived in Sulphur Springs, where he had children involved in the SSISD band program.
“Seeing the change in that almost 20 years has been unbelievable. We’ve had some of the best administration in the state, the best I would say. Our school board has always been so incredibly supportive of these kids and we are just fortunate; I am fortunate to be in Sulphur Springs and work here,” Emmert said.
The dedication, Emmert said, is “most specifically to Mr. McCauley,” referring to Charles McCauley who lead the SSISD Band program since the fall of 1998, when the late band director resigned his post at Quitman High School, where Emmert had been a band student until his graduation in the spring of 1998. After 4 years of college, Emmert began working with McCauley at SSISD.
“That was really a new beginning for this band program,” Emmert said of McCauley’s direction. “We know that he passed away a few years ago. We also want to highlight him this evening. He would be one of the most proud people tonight.”
“I remember about 9 years ago, all we had was that little white thing,” Superintendent Mike Lamb said of the small trailer pulled by a school truck. “Charlie was so excited I ask me if we could get that box truck, and I thought I was Santa Claus. ‘Oh, yeah. I’ll get you a box truck. I’ll be a hero.’ That little old box truck don’t mean much anymore. We’re there baby.”
Emmert also thanked the school board for appreciating the band program’s need for a semi trailer, seeing the band program’s struggle to safely keep three vehicles on the road in good working order when traveling to contests as well as football games.
“The struggle of packing and loading three different vehicles to go to contest and even football games has really opened our minds to how much this means for us, so from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of everyone in this band, I’d like to really thank our school board and our Band Boosters for everything they’ve done and continuing support in the future,” senior drum major Tristan Stewart said.
Stewart along with senior drum major Galilea Sosa and junior drum major Joel Villarino presented SSISD Board of Trustees President Robert Cody with thank you poster signed by band members and band facemasks for the board members. The band performed for the administrators as a thank you for the trailer.
The Band Boosters president also offered thanks to Lamb and Cody for their support of the band students.
To the students, she said, “We have taught y’all work hard. Hard work pays off. This is proof of that. Take care of this. This is a gift, this is a privilege.”
The band supporter said one of her favorite parts of their Paris Sketches program is the beginning. The spirit of unity and togetherness is displayed as they step forward with a beautiful sound, together.
Cody commended Emmert for his leadership and credited him for the band program’s successes. He noted that the school afforded new uniforms for the band last year and this year a semi trailer to effective haul all of their cargo.
“The excellence comes from each one of you, and the hard work and dedication that you put into this program. Those uniforms don’t play their hearts out. That trailer won’t play their hearts out. But, if every Friday night and every band competition that y’all go to, y”ll represent Sulphur Springs. You represent your community and your school district. Hats go off to y’all. Y’all are the legacy. These things will fade but y’all will continue to build a legacy from this point forward that Sulphur Springs has an amazing band program,” Cody told the band students.
The school board president also offered thanks to the parents and friends for their amazing support of the band students, which is evident in the stands at Friday night games and band competitions. They, he said are also a part of the band program.
“Spencer you got us there. You guys worked hard to get here. You’re well deserved this gift to you. Take care of it. Do good things with it, like we know you will,” Lamb said. “I am very proud of this program, these kids.”
Emmert too extended thanks to the many members of the SSISD band staff, color guard and fine arts coordinators for their dedication which, combined with the students efforts and school and community support, are taking the band to “a new level.” He thanked the band supporters for always being the biggest group of fans at competitions, always making the trip to be their for the SSISD band students. He invited them to join the band on Nov. 14 in Celina, where they are slated to perform at 12:45 p.m.
“I think most people would agree and we are excited to see the future. This was a desperately needed thing for us,” Emmert said.
The very expensive “gift” of a semi trailer will allow the band program to fit everything they need to take with them into the trailer, including instruments, sound equipment, electronics, color guard materials and props, thanks to “belly boxes.”
Students, staff, administrators and community members were invited to tour the trailer to gain a full appreciation of the its organization. Most were impressed, noting the different spaces and features within the trailer.
The trailer is two story, with a ramp at the back that slowly opens to a full ramp for ease of moving many band items safer in a quick amount of time. The trailer also opens on the sides for additional access. Lower instruments will be stored on the bottom and wind instruments on the top floor of the structure. The floor of the trailer has a hardwood appearance and there’s carpeting over the metal that creates the second floor, with a mesh cage to hold items in place.