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High School Highlight: Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center’s Big “D” Band Preps for Success

Story and Photos
By Asia Nicole Alcorn

Percussion members
Percussion members Nakya Greene, Sasha Burton, Khylon Thigpen, Edward Valladares and Maya Sandoval from Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center’s Big “D” Band

While school was out for the summer, one Dallas high school band was still working hard.

Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center’s (TMC) Big “D” Band includes students from six of the top-rated schools within Dallas ISD.

This young group of talented individuals has accomplished so much over the years, like placing 1st at the High School Battle of the Bands competition for the past 12 years and maintaining exemplary ratings in district and state for University Interscholastic League (UIL) competitions.

Former Director of Bands, Carlisa Washington, is impressed with the students’ resilience from the beginning of the pandemic till now.

“We know how it has been challenging and a struggle for all programs across the District,” said Washington, who had been on staff with the Big “D” Band since 2001.

She said with all the students’ past accomplishments, she had high hopes for the upcoming school year.

The Big “D” Band members
The Big “D” Band members during marching practice.

Once the school year ended, the Big “D” Band members began waking up early for marching and band practices, which are held throughout the summer.

The students in the Big “D” Band are not only young and talented but also geniuses!

Townview’s Big “D” Band participates in auditions and competitions sponsored by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).

Each year, Townview students receive high ratings from judges at these competitions.

Brooke Liu, a Flute Section Leader, is a senior at the Talented and Gifted Magnet (TAG).

“I have made the All-City Band, All-Region Band, and the Area Band for TMEA,” Liu said.

According to Newsweek Magazine, the TAG Magnet at Townview was ranked one of the nation’s top schools.

And on top of that, many Townview graduates continue their education at elite universities such as Howard, Prairie View A&M, Morehouse, Southern, Grambling, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Vanderbilt and more!

On their website, Newsweek Contributing Editor and Washington Post reporter, Jay Matthews is quoted, “The School for the Talented and Gifted is one of the greatest high schools in the country.”

TMC is a three-story building campus that houses six independent magnet high schools in the Dallas Independent School District: The School for the Talented & Gifted (TAG), The School of Science and Engineering (SEM), The School of Government, Law, & Law Enforcement (LAW), The School of Business and Management (SBM), The School of Education and Social Services (ESSM) and The School of Health Professions (HSHP).

For Townview’s Big “D” Band, it’s all about legacy.

Washington said a goal for the band has always been to be well-known across the state and country and they want to continue that legacy of success; while also making sure “students are able to adapt and grow.”

Thanks to hours of hard work and practice, the Townview Big “D” Band will be equipped for success this fall.

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