Category Archives: Coppell Scholars

Coppell High School Band wins 24th consecutive UIL Marching Sweepstakes Award

Photo: The Coppell High School Band performs their 2016 show “Now I see” at the Region 31 UIL Marching Contest. /Photo by Susan Edgley

By Susan Edgley


With marching season in full swing, the Coppell High School Band has been competing in back to back marching contests in October, earning trophies and glowing reviews.

In Region 31 UIL Marching Contest held at Pennington Field on Oct. 18, Coppell achieved a Division I rating, earning a 24th consecutive UIL Marching Sweepstakes Award. As a result, Coppell will advance to the area contest which will be held on Oct. 29.

At the Plano East Marching Invitational (PEMI) preliminary round, held at John Clark Stadium on Oct. 15, Coppell won the 6A caption awards for best Winds and Guard, and placed 2nd in Class 6A. Coppell went on to win 2nd place overall in the finals competition, and achieved the highest point total for Guard.

“The students’ level of confidence and the will to succeed are definitely showing on the field,” said Adrian Caswell, Associate Director of Bands. “They are making a shift from worrying about making a mistake to believing in themselves and performing their best. Rehearsals, repetitions, and gaining positive affirmations are contributing to their momentum.”

Color Guard Director, Matthew Rummel, is proud of the Coppell Guard and the hard work and dedication that led to the PEMI6A Guard win in prelims and the overall win in finals.

“While winning is never our objective, it is a great vote of confidence that our students are on the right track,” Rummel said. “There was fierce competition that night with a few of the best guards in the state. To be compared to them in any way is a gigantic accomplishment for Coppell. It was a team effort and couldn’t have come to fruition without the support of the band directors, parents, and band booster association.”

Coppell’s 2016 marching show, “Now I See,” is both musically and visually compelling. Audiences have responded with enthusiastic praise and applause. Musical selections include “Amazing Grace” by John Newton, “Savannah River Holiday” by Ron Nelson, “It Is Well With My Soul” by Phillip Bliss, “107 Steps” by Bjork, and “Finale from the Organ Symphony” by Camille Saint-Saens.

The show title “Now I See” is based on the last line of Newton’s “Amazing Grace: I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now, I see.

Our perception of the world is our reality, but can different circumstances alter that perception?” Rummel asked.

Coppell’s marching program this year is comprised of four movements. Movement I, “Rose-Colored”, is a reference to seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.

“Everything from the colors to the choice we made in our music selection demonstrates a world that is rosy and bright,” Rummel said.

Movement II, “Windows to the Soul”, allows an inner reflection through the phrase, eyes are the windows to the soul.

“We went with an emotional hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul”, based on the music of Phillip Bliss,” Rummel said.

Movement III, “Blinded”, references not only physical blindness, but other things people blind themselves from that allow perception to lead to a different reality, than what it may actually be.

“The music selection is a departure for Coppell from the norm of what is musically programmed,” Rummel said. “It is meant to be shocking, and in the case of one musical note on the score, a little grotesquely loud. The colors are muted and accented with numbers to reference a person counting their steps through life. This contrasts dramatically with the finale.”

Movement IV, “Now I See,” is the finale. The lenses in the back of the large glasses will fall away and vibrant blue eyes will appear.

“For me personally,” Rummel said, “I was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s saying, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’ One can see the world through rose-colored glasses, or be blinded by hate and fear, but in the end, we can all be the change we want to see and do our part to make the world a better place.”

Coppell High School Band named champion of the USBands marching contest

Photo: The Coppell High School Band is named champion of the US Bands Metroplex Regional Championship marching contest in Denton. /photo by Susan Edgley

By Susan Edgley

Coppell, TX–The Coppell High School Band traveled to Denton for the USBands Metroplex Regional Championship marching contest, held at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex Saturday, September 24.

A total of seventeen bands from the North Texas area participated in the event. During the preliminary round, Coppell achieved the highest score of 83.550, earning caption awards for Best Color Guard, Best Music, Best Overall Effect, Best Percussion and Best Visual in Group VI.

The finals round of competition was delayed due to an intense lightning storm that was approaching the area. Although the storm eventually passed, it was too late to resume the competition and the contest was called off.

As a result, based on the preliminary round scores, Coppell was declared the Champion of the USBands Metroplex Regional, earning outstanding accolades for Music, Overall Effect, Percussion, and Visual, and finishing second in Color Guard (by only 0.2 points.)

“We are honored to be named Champion,” said Gerry Miller, Director of Bands for CISD. “USBands is a great organization and we were excited about participating in Saturday’s contest. Even though we were not able to perform a second time during the finals round, we had a good run during preliminaries.”

Coppell’s 2016 show, “Now I See,” also delighted the audience. The crowd was moved by the music and the visuals.

“The show is really coming together,” Miller said. “Our student performers have come a long way since they began learning the components this summer.I am so proud of their accomplishments and look forward to our next competition in a couple of weeks.”

Coppell will compete next at the Bands of America Regional at Plano on Oct. 8, 7:30 a.m., at Clark Stadium.

Coppell Color Guard aims high this marching season

Photo: Coppell Color Guard senior Christina Davidson (center) and squad members rehears for the 2016 marching show. /Photo by Susan Edgley

By Susan Edgley

The Coppell High School Color Guard is flourishing this year. Under the leadership of Color Guard Director Matthew Rummel and Director of Bands for CISD, Gerry Miller, the guard program is nearly double the members from last year. Thirty-three guard students are ready to take the field alongside the marching band for the 2016 show, “Now I See.”

At its inception years ago, color guard was primarily a military and ceremonial unit that accompanied service marching bands. Today it has evolved into a highly skilled athletic and dance group, serving as a visual interpretation of the music performed by high school and college marching bands. Color guard also competes independently through worldwide Winter Guard competitions after marching season is over.

“Color guard is the storyteller of the marching show,” Rummel said. “The guard brings the music to life and adds the emotional connection.” Modern marching shows are themed and often theatrical. Color guard plays a central role in presenting the idea through the use of costumes, colorful flags, mock rifles and/or sabers and props, and complex dance routines. “Marching band has changed dramatically in the last ten years. It’s hard to be successful without a strong visual production.”

Since joining the Coppell High School Band staff this year, Rummel’s initial goal for the color guard program was to expand the group and field presence. With the addition of several band alternate students over the last few weeks, Rummel is now working on laying a strong foundation from which the team can develop.

“Because we have so many new students, we are concentrating on the basics,” Rummel said. “The students have to learn fundamental equipment and dance technique before we can begin perfecting our performance.”

Spinning and tossing flags while moving also requires a high level of strength and stamina. It is a challenging workout; conditioning is critical. During guard camp this summer, the students trained extensively, working on various flag and rifle positions and movements. They also spent two to three hours per day in dance class, learning how to point their feet, keep their legs straight and perform certain jumps.

“Our focus on technique develops consistency and precision which is vital to our performance,” Rummel said. “Additionally we’ve been able to establish the vocabulary we need for the show choreography.”

Even though the team puts in long hours, the students absolutely love being in color guard. Several of the seniors this year have been performing for three or more years.

“I love the sisterhood,” Christina Davidson, senior guard captain and four year member, said. “Even though we can’t see each other across the field all of the time, we are there supporting each other. It’s a really special group.”

“Color Guard is my home away from home,” Chelsea Banks, senior squad member, said. “It gives me the freedom to express myself.”

“My favorite thing about Color Guard is performing,” said Kaylee Minton, senior guard captain. “It’s such a great feeling having people watch us do something that we are so passionate about. For the upcoming year I am excited to see the final product and can’t wait to feel proud of what I have left on the field for my senior year.”

Coppell Band’s marching season heated up at summer band camp

Photo: Coppell High School Band students rehearse the fall marching show during Summer Band Camp. /Photo by Susan Edgley

By Susan Edgley

Coppell, TX–As the summer heat intensifies, so does marching season. For the 377members of the Coppell High School Band that means three weeks of rigorous practice in August. Band students returned to the band hall on July 28 for a two day marching fundamentals class and then Summer Band Camp kicked off on Aug. 1.

Many hours of practice are necessary to build marching skills and learn the music and steps for the 2016 fall marching show, entitled Now I See. After camp ends on Aug. 19, the students will continue to rehearse after school throughout the season, which ends in November.

For the first two weeks of Summer Band Camp, students practice from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, with breaks for lunch and dinner. Wednesday evenings are free as well. During the hottest part of the day the kids stay indoors; morning and evening rehearsals are outside. The rehearsal times are reduced during the third week of camp. Even though the hours are long and the temperatures can be extreme, the kids look forward to socializing with each other.

“The coolest thing about band camp is being able to hang out with friends all day,” junior Anthony Ambrose, alto saxophonist and saxophone squad leader, said. “We are part of a big organization. Spending time with each other while improving our marching and music skills makes it a fun experience.”

“What’s cool about summer band camp is definitely not the weather,” Senior Eva Gamboa, front ensemble marimba player and pit co-captain, said. “However, we get a head start to the whole school year and get to be with people we care about. The bonus is creating incredible music together. At the end of the day, we are happy and we go home smiling.”

Hydrating is key to surviving the heat, as well as warming up before drills, eating healthy, and getting a good night’s sleep. The University Interscholastic League recommends building endurance to warm weather conditions so that students can condition their bodies to adapt and perform better in the heat. Physical conditioning also helps reduce aches and pains and lessens fatigue from long practices and challenging routines.

“We’ve been acclimating to the heat fairly well,” said Gerry Miller, Director of Bands for CISD. “We do an hour stretch and run each morning with our water right next to us. We start hydrating that first hour and then take frequent water breaks throughout the day.”

Parent volunteers also man “cooling stations” in the shade during all outdoor rehearsals, providing ice, cold water and isotonics, and a place to sit and rest.

“We encourage students to wear hats, sunglasses and sunscreen and take care of themselves,” Miller said. “We try to instill good life habits that they can use way beyond marching band.”

During the first several days in band camp the directors focus on marching techniques, including standing at the appropriate position, holding the instrument correctly, maintaining good body posture, stepping off on the appropriate count and marching in time.

“So far the program is in a good place and the students are developing really well,” Miller said. “During the early part of camp, we are trying to get the ensemble to visually look alike. Getting our freshman to match exactly what our seniors are doing is the hardest task initially. Once we build the foundation, then the rest of the season is much easier.”

Drum Major Ashna Pathan, who plays the clarinet and will be a junior this year, concurred.

“This is a building stage. I can’t wait to see how we will grow over time,” Pathan said.

Marching competitions are a big component of the marching season, as are performances in the stands and at halftime during football games. This year is a state year, meaning that Coppell will compete against other 6A bands for the UIL State Marching Band championship in early November.

“I’m looking forward to having a successful marching season, especially the state marching contest,” said Philip Killgo, senior trombonist and trombone section leader.

For junior Lauryn Dean, front ensemble vibraphonist, it’s all about the football games.

“I love the Friday games, because we play a lot of stand tunes and get to dance. It’s so much fun,” Dean said.

“I always look forward to football nights and the marching show is amazing so far” sophomore DishaKohli, flutist, said. “Band is a family. We are surrounded with encouragement and motivation. Whether we are performing on the field or standing in the bleachers, we are having the time of our lives.”

Heroin, alcohol most popular among students

Parents attending the third annual Drug Trends and Awareness program at Coppell Middle School West on April 11 discovered heroin, alcohol and prescription drugs are the pervasive threats plaguing area middle school students, while methamphetamines, marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids (also known as K2 and Spice) are secondary menaces. Parents also learned that prescription drug abuse is now considered the gateway to heroin use.

Hosted by the Coppell Independent School District and the Coppell Police Department, the program featured a presentation by the Dallas office of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

“The bad news is that our children are at risk. They’re being threatened every single day. They are being targeted by predators throughout our community. And by predators, I don’t just mean people. Media, social media even popular media,” said Coppell Police Chief, Mac Tristan, who added that pop culture and the tools to access pop culture – music, the Internet, reality television, as well as actual human predators, contribute to children’s at-risk status.

Tristan also expressed concern that the messages pop culture sends to kids is being received as tacit permissions to use drugs, drink alcohol, and engage in sex, without understanding the consequences of their decision-making.

While many parents may be aware from their children that drugs are being sold on Coppell campuses, removing or arresting drug dealing students is not easy.

“The challenge that we have is even students are still protected by the Constitution, by the law,” Tristan said. “We cannot simply search a student, search their backpack, their locker, their cars arrest them without evidence, without probable cause, without a search warrant.”

Tristan said to prepare a case or obtain a search warrant the police must have information culled through programs like Crime Stoppers, crime tips or by students going to the police to provide them with information.

“It’s vitally important you talk to your students, your children about sharing this information. The good news for [parents] is that you’re not an officer of the law and your child has no right to privacy,” Tristan said. “You know that or you wouldn’t be here.” He also emphasized that parents’ main job is to ask their children questions and review their technology (phones, iPads, computers). “It’s ongoing. Every single day.”

Tristan said that Coppell officers are seeing the drugs on their streets described by the DEA as trending.

“It is pretty much the new stuff – everything that we find on the streets. We do make a lot of arrests at traffic stops and we find marijuana. We find the heroin and the meth, prescription pills. And we make those arrests weekly here in Coppell,” he said.

Heroin and prescription drug use has replaced cocaine as the biggest problem drug in 2016, while methamphetamines remain a consistent problem in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to Rhonda Kelly, Dallas field intelligence manager for the DEA. She also added Mexican cartels are the biggest production sources for heroin and meth, while Chinese factories are the largest producers of synthetic drugs.

“We’re more likely to die of a drug overdose than a motor vehicle accident,” Kelly said outlining the country’s pervasive drug use. “As parents we have to remember the drug threat against our kids–at the middle school level–it really is other children. But globally, drug trafficking is really an international business and these people are making drugs off the misery of families. Drug traffickers are profiting off of heartache and destruction,” she said.


The profile of a heroin user is typically a person who abused prescription painkillers.

“Almost inevitably they started with prescription pain killers,” Kelly said. “It’s a 19 times higher rate of new heroin usage among people who formerly abused opiate prescription drugs. Eighty percent of new heroin users abused prescription painkillers first. So that’s the real tragedy of the young kids experimenting in mom and dad’s medicine cabinet with opiate pain killers is that heroin is out there. If they like the feeling that they got from the pill, then heroin is easily available.”

Heroin users are using alternative methods to ingest the drug. Moreover, checking for needle or track marks on your child’s body is no longer the sole discovery method of heroin use. The old-school method of melting down black tar heroin to shoot up with a needle is now matched by heroin use in its white powder form that can be snorted up the nose.

Kelly also said Dallas-Fort Worth is experiencing near daily seizures of people using heroin. Nationally, she said, heroin drug deaths spiked with a 244 percent increase from 2007 to 2013, and “it keeps increasing.” In DFW, drug overdose deaths were attributed to prescription drugs or heroin. In Dallas County, drug overdose deaths increased 44 percent between 2013 and 2014. In Tarrant County, death by drug overdose increased by nearly 60 percent during the same years.

More alarming as to DFW stats regarding heroin deaths is that these mortality rates continue to skyrocket even in the face of a new drug, Narcan, available for EMS ambulance drivers to administer it to people in the throes of heroin overdoses.

“Heroin is in our [DFW] community. It’s out there and kids are overdosing now almost daily here,” Kelly said.


To escape detection, Kelly said Mexican-produced meth is smuggled to the U.S. in its liquid form from its original powered structure, as a way of hiding it in myriad ways during transport across the border.

“But this is not the way you would use it,” she said, adding that meth use is more of a threat to students at the high school and college levels. “Methamphetamine is a hyper stimulant and basically just sort of eats the person alive, from the inside.”


Another drug threat to middle school students is synthetic cannabinoids, which also go by the names K2 or Spice and are meant to emulate the effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in bath salts form. Kelly said all of the active chemicals in synthetics are manufactured legally in factories in China. Only when the drugs are shipped to the U.S. and assembled, do they become illegal.

“The problem for our government is that there are so many of these new substances being created in these Chinese factories that our laws can’t keep up,” Kelly said. She added there were 97 new chemicals produced that made their way to streets in the U.S., which were previously unknown. “There are new formulas being cooked up that we have no idea what they are or what the result is when people use them, until after they use it,” she said.

In addition to being assembled in the U.S. from China-made chemical compounds, the sellers of synthetics have no clue what is actually in these chemical compounds from China. Cheap and easy to acquire, synthetic drugs are sold in small packets for $20 to $40 a pack and do not show up in drug tests.

Kelly also expressed difficulty in regulating or outlawing synthetics.

“As soon as we can change our law to outlaw a certain chemical, they’ll change the chemical structure,” rendering the law void, she said.


Marijuana also is a threat to middle school students. A big trend is to cook it and eat it in foods such as candy or brownies by processing it in its raw form to get its active ingredient, THC, in concentrated form.

Trending too, is the use of compressed butane packed into a tube to make marijuana. The butane forces out the THC so that it is pure THC.

“The content level of THC in a regular marijuana cigarette is very, very low. Some of this stuff though can approach 80 percent pure THC,” Kelly said. “The explosive potential of some of these laboratories that these kids are doing – you’re using compressed butane and propane to do this – the least little spark and they blow themselves up.”

This method of marijuana production is especially problematic in states that legally sell the marijuana – California and Colorado. She also cautioned the trend is starting to spread.

“If you see your kid with compressed butane canisters, be very wary because they could be doing something like this and end up blowing your house up,” she said.

Unlike the marijuana cigarettes smoked by many individuals in the 1980s when the level of THC consisted of four percent active ingredient, THC levels are now 10 to 20 percent. In its concentrated form that level approached 100 percent pure THC.

“It’s not the same marijuana that you and I used. You can’t even compare,” Kelly said. “What your kids have out there is not the same product, put it that way.”

Parents also should be aware of the myriad ways in which kids are using marijuana such as e-cigarettes, vaporizers and bongs.

“The problem with e-cigarettes and this liquid THC is when you smoke this liquid in one of these, it doesn’t leave any smoke. There’s no smell,” Kelly said. “So you could potentially have your kid upstairs smoking a joint in an e-cigarette, and you would be totally unaware. If your kids have e-cigarettes, be aware it might not be just the scented fruity flavors that they’re actually smoking in the thing. There will be nothing to tip you off that that’s what they’re doing.”

While THC laboratories are concentrated on the West Coast, there are one or two in Texas, reflecting the trend that is headed the state’s way.

Coppell resident Stephanie Doan, who has a nine-year-old son attending Austin Elementary, said the program shed significant light on the city’s drug problem and the types of drugs being abused.

“A lot of it I kind of knew because I grew up in West Texas,” Doan said. “So a lot of this – I was more exposed to than maybe, Coppell was. I think there is a bubble [in Coppell] and I don’t think they have any idea of, probably, how serious [drug use] is here.”

#1 ranked Coppell baseball team remains undefeated

Coppell High School’s varsity baseball team, the Cowboys, has seen an incredibly good season this year. As of their game on April 5, the team boasts a 19-0 win record. They are currently the number one ranked team in Texas, and according to, they are ranked 6th on a national basis.

Coach Kendall Clark attributes the team’s success to their playoff experience and their outstanding defense.

“Most of these players are either on their second year to start or their third year to start,” Clark said. “They’ve been in a lot of playoff series games, and when you have a lot of experience playing the big games, it’s a lot easier to play those games as your normal game. We also pitch a lot of shut-out games; we allowed the opponent four runs during our game on April 5, but most of our opponents either only score zero, one, or two runs.”

A large factor in the team’s defensive strength is pitcher Charles King, who is listed as one of the top 100 senior high school baseball players and has the potential to be scouted for the major leagues. King’s pitches have been clocked with a top speed of 95 mph; this combined with his height makes his pitches particularly difficult to hit.

When asked about how he felt about being named to the top 100, King said, “It’s a huge honor. It’s really what I’ve been working towards since I started getting serious about baseball in high school. Everyone who plays baseball dreams of going pro, so it’s a really awesome opportunity. I’ve been doing a lot of extra training to keep in shape; at this stage, everyone has to do some extra training if they want to stay in the game.”

Training is a key aspect of the team’s success in general. Everyone is aware that they need to practice hard to keep winning games.

“It’s been a great motivator for when they start getting tired,” Clark said. “Great practices lead to playing well during the actual games. The team decided they want to win every game from here on out; to do that, we need focus and intensity during our practices. Of course, no team starts the season by saying they want to win every game; you start by preparing for the first game, and then you start preparing for the game after that. You prepare for each game at a time. It’s a cliché, but it’s true that when you practice, you get better each day.”

The Cowboy’s success has been a point of pride for the people of Coppell, who are proud to say that their team is number one in the state.

“I really think baseball is the best sport,” King said. “As pitcher, I get to influence every play of the game. It’s all about the competition, having fun, getting out there and playing with your brothers. It’s just really gratifying.”

“It’s been a really enjoyable year to watch these guys,” Clark said. “The team is really focused on their goal, and it’s fun to be a part of that. I just want them to practice well, play a good game, and win. It’s not about the awards or honors; it’s about seeing these guys play at their best. Our team has a lot of depth, experience, and talent; and it’s great to see their hard work pay off like this.”

Coppell High School Band performs in London

The Coppell High School Band has just returned from a successful trip to London.

Crowds cheered as the CHS Band marched in the London St Patrick’s Day Parade, performing a medley of patriotic and upbeat tunes. The CHS Band was also honored to perform a concert at Central Hall Westminster, showcasing the high level of discipline, dedication and achievement of the band program.

While in London, the students were able to tour many of the city’s sights, including Windsor Castle, the British Museum, and the Tower of London.

There is an upcoming opportunity to listen to the CHS Band in concert, as they perform at the Coppell High School Auditorium on Thursday, March 31 from 7 PM.

For more information on the award-winning Coppell High School Band, visit the band website at



Coppell High School Band Receives Division 1 Rating at UIL Regional Marching Competition

Photo: Continuously striving for excellence, Coppell High School’s marching band takes a literal approach to ‘practice makes perfect’. /Courtesy photo

By Jenny Quonoey

Coppell, TX – High school marching bands from across the region traveled to Duncanville on Saturday October 17 to participate in the UIL Regional Marching Band Competition.

The Coppell High School Marching Band presented its 2015 show, Music for the Undefeated, featuring music by Aaron Copeland and Karl Husa.

For the 25th year in a row, the Coppell High School Band earned straight Division 1 Ratings at UIL Regionals.  All three judges gave the CHS band the highest rating possible of a first division.  In fact, Coppell has earned the highest rating at all UIL Marching Contests in the past twenty-five years, without exception.

At the end of October, the Coppell High School Band will attend the Texas Bands of America Super Regional at San Antonio, to compete against many other top Texas bands.

The following weekend, the CHS Drumline will compete in the Lonestar Drumline Contest in Flower Mound; and then they return to San Antonio the weekend after that for the PASIC 2015.

For more information on the award-winning Coppell High School Band and Color Guard, go to the band website at

Coppell Middle School North band named 2016 State Honor Band

By Susan Edgley

Coppell, TX – The Coppell Middle School North Honor Winds won the 2016 2C Honor Band title, the highest award in the state of Texas given by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). A total of 589 middle school bands competed in the competition, which was comprised of three tiers: region, area and state. Coppell placed first in all three levels, culminating in the state win which was announced at the end of July.

The 2016 Honor Band title is associated with the timing of the February 2016 TMEA convention, where the winning Honor Bands for each division will perform. However, the Coppell MS North Honor Winds of the 2014-2015 school year recorded the audition last spring. The seventh and eighth-grade band consisted of sixty-seven members. Many of the Honor Winds learners who were 8th graders then, are now freshmen and play in the Coppell High School Band.

“Our students reached the highest level of instrumental music achievement,” said Jeremy Lindquist, Head Band Director at Coppell MS North. “They worked incredibly hard all year and developed both individually and as a group. The expertise and motivation our private lesson staff gave our learners, as well as the support we received from our parent community, helped immensely. It was a team effort.”

Coppell MS North was previously named the 2007 and 2012 2C Honor Band under the direction of Joey Ashbrook.

“This is the third time that Coppell MS North was selected by the TMEA as the number 1 double-C Honor Band in the state of Texas,” said Scott Mason, CISD Director of Instrumental Music. “Additionally, this is the first time in the history of the Honor Band contest that a middle school band has received the award three times with two different directors.

“It is a significant achievement by any band to achieve the title once, but an extraordinary achievement to receive the distinction three times,” he said. “I am so proud of the Coppell MS North Cougar Band and what they have accomplished. We are fortunate to have such a high caliber of student musicians, band staff and parent group, not only at North, but across Coppell.”

The 2014-2015 Honor Winds students were recognized during Coppell MS North’s annual Welcome Back Concert, held on Aug. 14. Each learner was presented a TMEA certificate by Lindquist, which recognized their designation as a member of the state Honor Band.

“Last year’s group was the hardest working group I have ever met,” Lindquist said. “They never gave up. Sometimes younger bands learn music, and it gets to a certain level and that’s it. But last year’s group never plateaued. Those students were able to improve their performance every time. Their perseverance was remarkable.”

“Honor Winds was such a memorable experience,” said Gabby Nelson, who was an 8th grade clarinetist last year. “I am happy we won state, because everyone worked really hard. I am so proud of our group.”

“Honor Band was definitely the best experience I have had in band,” said DishaKohli, 8th grade piccoloist last year. “It was hard work for sure, but the outcome was great, because we won the state title and became the best in state.”

Deniz Evlioglu, 8th grade bass trombonist last year, summed it up.

“We put a lot of effort into it and at times it felt overwhelming,” Evlioglu said. “Looking back now I can see that every minute we spent in rehearsals was worth it. When I heard we actually won State Honor Band I wanted to scream, I was so happy. To be a part of an organization like this is extraordinary.”

As a public recognition of the Cougar Band’s achievement, Coppell MS North Honor Winds will perform at the 2016 TMEA Convention in San Antonio, for an audience of more than 3,000 band directors, parents, students and administrators. Coppell’s performance is currently scheduled for Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

The Coppell Middle School North Band is led by Head Band Director Jeremy Lindquist, Band Director Allie Hibert, and Director of Percussion, Zach Scheer. For more information on the award-winning Coppell Middle School North Band, go to the band website at


ACT Foundation announces community scholarship winners

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – The Account Control Technology Foundation (herein ACT Foundation) is pleased to announce the recipients of its ACT Cares Community Scholarships for 2015. Of the 25 winners receiving $1,000 towards their undergraduate study at any four-year U.S. college or university, five hailed from Dallas and Denton Counties.

The five winners of the 2015 ACT Cares Community Scholarships from Dallas and Denton Counties are:

Yessenia S. Lopez of Dallas, daughter of Mayra and Ricardo Lopez. Yessenia is a graduate of Uplift Peak Preparatory and plans to attend Trinity University.

Erin N. Payne of Coppell, daughter of Maria Payne. Erin is a graduate of Coppell High School and plans to attend Kansas State University.

Josue Perez Campos of Lewisville, son of Ezequiel Perez and Juana Campos Frias. Josue is a graduate of Lewisville High School and plans to attend Cornell University.

Denis Mangic of Wylie, son of Enisa and AlijaMangic. Denis is a graduate of Wylie High School and plans to attend Texas A&M University.

Elise N. Shropshire of The Colony, daughter of Charlotte Shropshire and Antione Curtis. Elise is a graduate of The Colony High and plans to attend Texas Christian University.

“This year, we had a record number of scholarship applications from an incredibly talented pool of young people,” said Dale Van Dellen, Chairman of the ACT Foundation. “I’m pleased the Foundation is able to play a role in helping the winners achieve their educational goals and further their development as future leaders.”

The ACT Cares Community Scholarships are designated for graduating high school seniors from select communities surrounding Account Control Technology, Inc.’s office locations, including Kern and Los Angeles counties in California; Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio; and Dallas, Denton, Collin and Tom Green counties in Texas. The ACT Foundation also awards 25 “Second-Year Scholarships” for college first-year students nationwide who will enroll as sophomores in the upcoming fall semester.

SOURCE ACT Foundation