Friday Night Bands: A championship band at Edna Karr High School

NEW ORLEANS -- From Algiers, it's the purple and gold superstars of Edna Karr High School.  This high stepping, high achieving group of musicians work year-round to field their best shows.

Director of Bands Christopher Herrero says it helps that they've developed an environment for success, "Every year has it's different sets of challenges.  We have a different set of students every year.  The thing that we have now in our band is a culture of succeeding in a culture of being second to none.  What really helps is the fact that our upperclassmen understand those expectations and they help to instill those expectations to the younger group and generation that is coming into the band."

Herrero should know.  He's also a Karr alum who went on to play in the band at Jackson State and came home to lead a movement in his own school.
The band has also appeared nationally in a T-Mobile commercial, on National Public Radio, in ESPN the magazine, and even made a cameo in Beyonce's Lemonade video.
 
Herrero welcomes these opportunities for the students and says, "I want to showcase the hard work that the students put in day and day out.  Our kids work extremely hard.  The band and the football team are the last of the kids to leave the school.  We have a championship football team and we have a champion band."
Edna Karr is also an academically high achieving school and saxophonist Mya Webster told us that while the challenges of the Karr band can be great, the reward is even greater.
"You are going to be pushed passed your limits and you are not always going to be comfortable, but it prepares you for the real world.  Everything that I endured, it groomed me to be the person that I am today," said Webster.
Gmal Dunkin is one of the Karr Drum Majors and he said, "Being part of this band has taught me leadership, family, and compassion.  The family part is really important to me because when we come to this band room, we treat everybody the same.  We take them in, learn their names and make them part of the new family."
"Band is life.  Without band, I would probably be out here running the streets believe it or not, but I don't want to live that life.  I want my music to take me far," said tuba player Blake McCarter.