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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Goss builds a dynasty with Cardinal Band

as it heads to state contest for third year in a row


Last updated 11/1/2022 at 6:40pm

Tami Goss has spent 13 years as band director at Bridge City High School and has built a dynasty of excellence. On Wednesday, November 9, the Cardinal Band will compete for the third straight year at the UIL state marching contest.

Last week, the band placed high enough in area competition in Lindale to move on up to the state contest.

But a bit of adversity has set in for the poor band. On Tuesday, Goss was spending her second day at home with a strep infection. She said during a phone interview that about a third of the band members are now suffering from the flu or a strep infection.

Plus, rain is in the forecast for days this week. Bands cannot rehearse on a football field in the rain because the water will damage the instruments. And being wet in chilly temperatures doesn't help band students build immunity for fighting illness.

Hopefully, the director and students will recover completely and be ready for the trip to San Antonio. They won't have to worry about weather during the marching contest. It's held in the Alamo Dome, a covered stadium.

State marching competition isn't the only accomplishment the Bridge City Cardinal Band has achieved. In the summer the Texas Music Educators Association judged the band in fourth place for statewide concert band competition. Goss said the judging was based on recordings the band submitted and went through three rounds before the finals.

For Goss, the accolades are a nice part of a profession that basically chose her. She has always wanted to be a band director. And even though women band directors were once rare, there's more and more of them these days.

"It really used to be a man's world, but that has changed," she said about her profession.

She played trombone in the Port Neches-Groves High School band, an area band that has won awards for decades. After graduating from high school in 1998, she went on to earn a bachelor's degree in music from Lamar University. She taught band in Buna for seven years before she went to Bridge City in 2010. She earned a master's degree from Lamar in 2011.

The Cardinal band has a "corps style" of marching and this year is led by four drum majors, Ryker Berry, Mason Pruett, Jackson Pachar, and Addison Woolley.

The music for the marching contest includes some popular songs like "Exile" by Taylor Swift, "Industry Baby" by Lil Nas X, and a selection from the popular Broadway musical "Dear Evan Hansen."

The strength of the band lies in the "tradition of excellence" that Bridge City High has for its musical students. "They work very hard together and they have a great attitude," she said.

Band, especially when combining musical skills with precision movements, takes hours of hard work. But if it's done right, it's also fun. Goss thinks the Cardinal band members have the fun along with the work.

The band will leave Bridge City High School on Tuesday morning and will get a big pep rally-style send-off from the school. Goss said usually the buses with the students will also circle the elementary and intermediate schools so the kids there can cheer on their favorite musicians.

The band will perform at the Alamo Dome at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, November 9. Winners will be announced at the end of competition, which can last through the day and into the evening.


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