The Panther Press

Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week: Jennifer Wirges

Band Member of the WeekGreg Higgins

”How about I call you a little later tonight to do the interview?” - Me

”Yeah, that won’t work for me. It’s the season premier of the Walking Dead and our family will be watching it” - Jennifer Wirges

And that’s how the conversation began between myself and Jennifer Wirges, this week’s band member of the week. The senior plays the flute and is also in the color guard.

Jennifer’s favorite part of the band is when she performs on Friday nights. She started playing the flute in the sixth grade. Her brother played Trombone in the band, but her dad’s family plays the flute. She decided to follow suit.

When she was in eighth grade she decided she wanted to be in the color guard because she wanted to be on the field performing. For those not aware, the color guard is what helps bring life to the story that is being told during the performance.

This years show, Man vs. Machine features a lot of dancing and movement to go with the music. Besides being in the band, Jennifer is a part of Zone 32.

Jennifer moved to North Lamar when she was in the fourth grade. Her favorite subject in school is English. Although she’s not sure where she wants to go to college, she does know she wants to be a color guard coach and teach English.

When she’s not performing on the field, she works when she can. She also tries to catch up on sleep and she “loves The Walking Dead.”

Congratulations Jennifer Wirges for being this week’s Paris Fitness and Aquatics Band Member of the Week.

 

Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week: Alison Thrasher

Band Member of the WeekGreg Higgins

The North Lamar Panther Marching Band is in the process of trying to make it back to state competition. In the middle of the competition stands Alison Thrasher. Alison plays the marimba. If you’re like me, you may not be familiar with this instrument. Here’s what I found about it:

The marimba (/məˈrɪmbə/) is a percussion instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with mallets to produce musical tones

This isn’t an extremely popular instrument when talking about marching band and students choosing instruments.

”As a fifth grader, when trying out for band I really wanted to do percussion because I liked the variety of different instruments involved. After being in percussion for a little while, I discovered I enjoyed mallet instruments more than the drums.” - Alison Thrasher

The band is very much like a family at North Lamar. Ask any member and they will all tell you the same thing. Alison is no different as she mentions the close friendships that she has acquired from being in the band. 

”Music is just a start of what the Panther Band has to offer.”

Alison says this as she talks about the directors. She mentions one of her favorite things is the life lessons she has learned from them.

This year the band is doing a program called Man vs. Machine. Thrasher says it has a lot of challenging aspects that push the band as a whole.

”My favorite part is the fourth movement, or the slow movement. During this part, the machine is being transformed into a human and the music is very pretty.”

Besides the band, Alison is also the Chaplain of the National Beta Club, member of National Honor Society and a peer mentor for students at Everett. She is also the secretary of the Band as well as a section leader for the front ensemble. 

When she’s not on the field performing, Alison says she enjoys writing for fun, spending time with family and friends and going to church. Alison has lived in Paris her whole life and she hopes to attend Oklahoma Baptist University after she graduates. She wants to pursue a degree in nursing.

Here is a list of Alison’s favorite things:

Food - Chicken Salad 

Restaurant - Garibalidi’s 

Song - Come Alive (Dry Bones) by Lauren Daigle 

Band/Singer - Lauren Daigle 

Color - Purple 

TV Show - The Bachelor 

Movie - Zootopia 

Book - The Bible 

Subject in School - Math 

If you could go one place on earth, where would it be? Australia 

If you can have dinner with one person dead or alive, who is it? George Washington 

If you could go back in time and witness one event, live and in person what even is it? To see my grandpa released being a POW in North Korea

Congratulations Alison Thrasher for being this week's Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week

 

Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week: Heather Armstrong

Band Member of the WeekGreg Higgins
(Photo by Maddy Routon)

(Photo by Maddy Routon)

Lots of people don’t think cartoons can influence children. This week’s band member of the week is living proof that they can. Junior Heather Armstrong decided to play the clarinet at a young age.

”As cliche as it sounds, watching squidward from SpongeBob play the clarinet kinda put in my mind at a young age.” - Heather Armstrong

She also attributes playing the recorder, an instrument similar to the Clarinet, in elementary school.

”When I went to try out, the clarinet was the perfect fit for me, so it must have been destiny.” - Armstrong

Heather is also a drum major this year. She says one of her favorite things about being in the band is how the directors promote the family atmosphere. She says the band has become her second family and attributes them to helping her become who she is today.

”They have given me so many opportunities and love and support throughout my high school career. I am so thankful to have been blessed with three amazing directors that I have the honor of working with.” - Armstrong

(Photo by Maddy Routon) 

(Photo by Maddy Routon) 

Heather is also heavily involved in the math and science UIL events. She competes in all four events they offer. She is also a part of the beta club and has recently joined the key club.

Although she’s still got a year until she’s a senior, she is already thinking about college. Heather is thinking about going into the field of biomedical engineering.

When she’s not playing an instrument she says she has a small addiction to ‘Binge-watching YouTube videos’. She also enjoys cross stitching and writing poetry. Here are a list of Heather’s favorite things:

Food - Tacos
Restaurant - P.F. Changs
Song - To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra
Band/Singer - Panic! At the Disco
Color - Purple
TV Show - The Walking Dead
Movie - The Avengers
Book - Harry Potter Series
Subject in School - Math/Science

If you could go one place on earth, where would it be? Machu Picchu, Peru

If you can have dinner with oner person, dead or alive, who is it? This is really hard to decide. I guess Mark Fischbach, aka Markiplier.

If you could go back in time and witness one event live and in person, what even is it? The launching of the Apollo 11 space shuttle in 1969.

Congratulations Heather Armstrong for being this week's Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week

 

Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week: Brock Garrison

Band Member of the WeekGreg Higgins

If you've attended a North Lamar football game or watched one of their routines, then no doubt you have heard of this week's band member of the week. Senior Brock Garrison not only plays a trumpet in the North Lamar marching band, but he is also a drum major this year.

"A drum major conducts the marching show and assists the directors in their needs," says Garrison. "[They] act like assistant directors on the marching field."

For six years, Brock has played the trumpet. This became his instrument of choice because he liked it and loves the sound it makes. For Brock, marching band is a lot more than just playing an instrument, though.

"At the end of the day, after it is all said and done, we learn not just about music but so much more," he says. "We learn life skills that we can take with us when we graduate. Also a family atmosphere that is created in marching band is a huge part of our program."

Besides being in band, Brock is also the Vice President of the National Honor Society. He is president of FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and he's involved with choir. Garrison made all-state choir his sophomore and junior years.

Not sure where he wants to attend college yet, Brock wants to pursue a degree in music education. Outside of school, he can't get away from music, either. Brock loves to play his guitar and he also leads worship at Southside Baptist Church. He also enjoys spending time with his family.

Here's a list of Brock's favorite things:

Food - Steak

Restaurant - Garibaldi's

Song  - I have so many

Band/Singer - Chris Tomlin

Color - Lime green

TV Show - What Would You Do

Movie - RV

Subject in School - History

If you could go one place on earth, where would it be? I would go to Jerusalem

If you can have dinner with one person dead or alive, who is it? Elvis Presley

If you could go back in time and witness one event live and in person, what event is it? I would like to go back and witness the signing of the declaration of independence.

Thank you Brock Garrison for being this week's Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week!

Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week: Rebekah Reed

Band Member of the WeekGreg Higgins

The North Lamar band is made up of many different components. All the different instruments sound great when played in harmony. However, just like anything in life, things are enhanced when you add visual effects to the music.

This is where the color guard comes in to play. Rebekah Reed knows this aspect all too well.

“I have done color guard for four years..since my freshman year. I have been the captain for two years now.” - Rebekah Reed

The color guard help provide the visual effects that help tell the story during the marching band show. You will see them toss flags, rifles and they can also dance.

When Rebekah was little, she was in the ballet and loved to dance. She would go to the football games and enjoyed watching the band perform at half time. During one game, she noticed some girls dancing out on the field while the band played. At that moment, Rebekah knew she wanted to dance with the band during the halftime shows.

”I signed up for it and I have enjoyed it ever since.” - Reed

One of the things the senior enjoys about the color guard is the rush of adrenaline while performing. Of course its not all about the performance. Rebekah says the color guard are just like her family. She also loves performing in front of huge crowds on Friday nights.

”I love everything about being in the color guard.”

After graduation, she plans to attend PJC to get her basics out of the way. Then, Rebekah would like to transfer to a university. Although she’s not sure which university, she does know she wants to get her degree in Physical Therapy.

While in college, she does want to pursue color guard. She would like to do DCI (Drum Corps International) which is basically marching band with color guard once you’ve graduated.

Besides the color guard, Rebekah is in HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America). HOSA is a program that ready’s students that want to go into the medical field. Rebekah is also a peer mentor that helps kids that struggle in a certain subject and need help. The mentors help the kids understand the subject and they help the teachers with what they need done.

When she is not busy with school, Rebekah loves to read.

I’m a HUGE nerd when it comes to reading.” - Rebekah

She also loves to spend time with family and friends. Rebekah also draws a lot too. Here is a list of Rebekah’s favorite things:

Food: Anything Chinese
Restaurant: Panda Express
Song: Pity Party
Band/Singer: Twenty One Pilots
Color: Blue
TV Show: Supernatural
Movie: Harry Potter
Book: Paper Towns
Subject in School: Science

If you could go one place on earth, where would it be? I would love to go to Ireland

If you can have dinner with one person dead or alive, who is it? I would have dinner with my papa that passed away with cancer six years ago.

If you could go back in time and witness one event live and in person, what is it? I would like to see my 12th great grandfather walk off the Mayflower.

Congratulations Rebekah Reed for being this week’s Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week.

Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week: Jordan Walter

Band Member of the WeekGreg Higgins

"Percussion was more interesting to me than blowing in some horn." - Jordan Walters

When Jordan Walters was in the sixth grade, he was given a choice. From his statement above, it's obvious the choice he made. Jordan, now a senior, has been in band ever since. He was even given the opportunity to be in the marching band when he was still in junior high.

"When I was in eighth grade, the percussion was short some people. The band director decided to let me play with them."

Besides the musical aspect of it, traveling with the band ranks high on the list of things Jordan enjoys about the band. Hanging with friends is also on the list of priorities for Mr. Walters.

Percussion was more interesting to me than blowing in some horn
— Jordan Walters

Besides being a member of the North Lamar marching band, Jordan is also a member of the National Honor Society and is on the debate team. After graduation, Jordan plans to attend the University of Texas in Austin to major in History, with hopes of becoming a teacher someday.

When he's not doing school activities, Jordan enjoys swimming, hiking, being outdoors and travelling. Here is a list of a few of Jordan's favorite things:

Food: Fettuccini Alfredo

Restaurant: Cheddars

Song: Be Encouraged by Donald Lawrence

Singer: Beyonce

Color - maroon

TV Show: Greenleaf

Movie: Selma

Book: To Kill a Mockingbird

Subject in School: History

If you could go one place on earth, where would it be? Australia

If you can have dinner with one person dead or alive, who is it? God

If you could go back in time and witness one event live and in person, what is it? Inauguration of President Obama

Congratulations Jordan Walters for being this week's Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week

Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week: Kallaigh Nicholson

Band Member of the WeekGreg Higgins

There are some students you meet and they are extremely passionate about the activities they are involved with at the school. Enter Kallaigh Nicholson. This junior is in the North Lamar marching band and couldn’t be more proud.

”I like the feeling I get right before I perform, and I love the music we play.” – Nicholson

Kallaigh (pronounced Kayla) plays the bass clarinet and as played it since the second semester of her sixth grade year. She started off playing the clarinet and enjoyed it, however there was something about the bass clarinet.

”The sound of the bass clarinet just made me happy. I loved it. So I asked if I can switch, and so I did. I’ve been on it ever since.”

During her junior high years, Kallaigh would take her instrument home every night to practice. During her high school years, though, she’s been a little more laid back. She estimates she takes it home once or twice a week, although she assures me that she still practices every day.

As a junior, Ms. Nicholson understand her role as a leader for the band. Being a squad and section leader, she tries to set a good example for the younger students. During her free time, Kallaigh plays her instrument or she’ll watch old marching band videos from North Lamar.

After high school, her plans are to attend Texas A&M Commerce to continue her musical career. Her favorite subject in school is History. Besides being in the band, Kallaigh is also a part of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a class that helps people get into college.

Here is a list of Kallaigh’s favorite things:
Food: Chicken
Restaurant: Catfish King
Song: At Your Feet
Band/Singer: Casting Crowns
Color: Purple
TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy
Book: Bible

If you could go one place on earth, where would it be? I’d go to the number one skittles factory in the world, just because I like skittles.

If you can have dinner with one person dead or alive, who is it? It would be the person that invented the bass clarinet.

If you could go back in time and witness one event live and in person, what event is it? I want to witness a time period when Jesus was alive so I could be able to worship Him in person.

##Congratuatlions Kallaigh Nicholson for being this week’s Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week

Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week: Kevin Dawson

Band Member of the WeekGreg Higgins
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When Kevin Dawson was in the sixth grade, he wanted to try out for band. When he tried out he was told his two best instruments were the tuba and trombone. Kevin picked the trombone because he didn’t want to lug around a heavy tuba. The rest, you could say, is history.

Now a senior, Kevin not only plays for the North Lamar marching band, he is also the band president. After being nominated for the position by his peers, they elected him to be president.

”The band president acts as main communication liaison between student officers and band directors.” - Kevin Dawson

The president also coordinates and leads band officer meetings, addresses the band as well as speaks for the band officers and staff. These are just a few of the many duties required of the band president.

”The social aspect of band is my favorite part. To have a second family that has your back as well as helps you to succeed in band and in life is a remarkable thing.” - Dawson

Band isn’t the only thing Kevin does at North Lamar. He is also a member of the swim team, Beta Club, Student Council and President of the National Honor Society. Kevin’s favorite subject in school is Chemistry.

After graduation, he plans to attend Texas A&M at College Station. Wanting to major in forensic and investigative science, Kevin also plans on becoming a member of the fightin’ Aggie band and the Corps of Cadets. He’s planning on contracting out with either the Marines or the Army during his junior year. Kevin’s ultimate goal is to get a job with the FBI in hopes of becoming a special agent.

When Kevin isn’t at school or in the band, he likes to spend time with his family and friends. He also enjoys being an assistant scoutmaster for troop 2 and enjoys giving back to the program.

Here’s a list of a few of Kevin’s favorite things:

Food: Steak
Song: Centuries by Fall Out Boy
Band/Singer: Imagine Dragons
Color: Blue
TV Show: Big Bang Theory
Movie: The Patriot
Book: The Lord of the Rings series

##Congratulations Kevin Dawson for being this week’s Paris Fitness & Aquatics Band Member of the Week

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