Darrin Davis is director of bands for Broken Arrow Public Schools. Now in his 21st year with the program, he oversees a staff of 15 teachers and show designers. During his tenure, the Broken Arrow Pride marching band has brought home several state, regional and national championships. This year, the Pride took first place at two super-regional Bands of America competitions as well as first in the Oklahoma Bandmaster’s Association 6A state competition.
I am a graduate of Broken Arrow High School and [an alumnus] of the band I teach. I was hoping to return home and be director of my home band. I am in my 21st year of teaching at Broken Arrow. My career has been pretty special.
[The championships are] driven by kids that are hungry to get better every single day. There is the expectation amongst the students that they push each other to make each other better; they are amongst the most disciplined kids I’ve ever been around. It makes the education part better. I also have an incredible staff of teachers and designers that put together state-of-the-art programs for our kids. It takes a lot to make that happen.
I’ve often had people ask me which show has been my favorite over the years; they’re all very special. In 2006, when we won the national championship for the first time, we were known as a national level band, but we weren’t at that top level. This year’s group was also very special and won back-to-back regionals, and they took every minute we had to grow as a group and in their performances. We also have an incredible community that supports its band and an administration that allows us to travel and produce at the highest levels.
We talk to our kids about how it’s not about the place you receive. What really matters is how you feel after you perform. We hope for them that they’ll make lifelong memories and that they’ll feel good about their performance. Regardless of the results, we really don’t care because we’ll congratulate the champion and make a bunch of friends. We never go in planning to win. It’s down to seven judges’ opinions. It’s like going to an art gallery, and each person will have a different favorite painting.