Band Number Drop

CORRECTION NOTICE: The following article has been updated to reflect an error in reporting. There was confusion in finding, gathering and reporting numbers of band and the Allen Eagle Escadrille members. The original lead stated there were about 800 members of band with the band currently having 486 members. The estimate of 800 included members of the brass, woodwind, percussion, color guard and drill team members, while the 486 member estimate only included members of the brass, woodwind and varsity percussion sections. This mistake lead the data to be unintentionally misleading. The Eagle Angle was informed the correct number for this year — including JV percussion, drill team and color guard — is over 600. The lead has been revised to update the correction. 


Allen High School has always kept the Allen Eagle Escadrille close to its heart making it a staple in Allen culture. In 2018 there were about 800 members in the group but in recent years, the Escadrille has lost members. This year it has over 600 members. This number drop has been slow but has dropped this year faster than in previous years. Despite the drop, there is competition between students to improve.

“My section is extremely competitive because they take so few people,” senior saxophone player William Clymire said. “And there’s a lot of us, especially for region, they take to the area to state. I went to state this past year.”

Competition has rapidly increased with the band growing and with more students trying to go to state and regional competitions. Competition has also ramped up in terms of placing in higher band ensembles.

“There are things in band that are completely out of your control,” senior saxophone player Ray Chen said. “And when you place so much value into your band placement, all that stuff, you kind of measure your own worth as a musician and also as like how good you are in general based off of where you’re placing abandoned in an ensemble.”

The increase in competition between members has started to create and grow negative feelings about the band.

“Some kids believe that we’re stagnating in terms of our ability as a band to improve, because there’s just a general feeling of negativity towards it,” senior french horn player Charles Cothron said. “So they don’t really want to put in the effort to improve.”

Students are struggling to put the energy into practicing — matched with stricter rules, the pressure is building.

“Band definitely became more serious,” Clymire said. “And I think more people have dropped out because of that. Because a lot of people like just the social aspect, and we put in the work. But they’re putting a higher standard because they want to push the band farther and UIL and state and stuff. It’s just stricter.”

With the band becoming stricter and focusing more on working on their pieces instead of being able to socialize with friends, many students find it hard to enjoy being in band.

“The main things that I’d say most people are interested in are the social aspects,” Chen said. “But also you do have to find joy, and playing your instrument and marching with a bunch of other people.”

Making friends has been the highlight of many who have joined the band even though other aspects have to be considered.

“You really create really tight friendships, and you want to maintain them, and this is how you connect with them,” Clymire said.

But with COVID-19, many people weren’t able to have fun, make new friendships or be able to have fun practicing and playing on the field.

“And that’s just because a ton of them quit because they didn’t have any fun being online during band, which I didn’t really have that much fun either,” Cothron said.

The band number has dropped, but that hasn’t stopped most band students from keeping a positive attitude towards the Allen band.

“The population of band is going to dwindle, and it has dwindled,” said Chen. “But I don’t think that this is going to be a consistent thing. I think it’s going to build back up again. Because we’re still very large… I’d say the largest, right? But it’s just it’s not the same as it was, it’ll probably take maybe a few years for it to get back to where it was before.”