RED OAK — The Mighty Hawk Band at Red Oak High School is louder and prouder than ever, having grown by 63 members since 2013.

“We’re on a roll, there’s no doubt about it,” Red Oak High School Band Director Steven Moss said. “Our students are excited, and it shows in their outstanding quality of their music, performance on the field and enthusiastic support for their school and fellow students.”

According to Moss, the key to their success has been students’ belief in shared core values.

“I believe the primary contributing factor to the growth in quality and quantity of our program is the healthy culture that has been established and fostered by our students,” Moss said. “I shared the three things I value most when I arrived in Red Oak a couple of years ago: developing relationships, exhibiting leadership and developing musicianship. Our students have done a tremendous job of internalizing these three core values.”

What else does it take? Practice, practice, practice.

“We put in a lot of long and hot hours,” said drum major Noah Vaughn. “Sometimes you start to question why you put forth the effort, but then you play at halftime on Friday night and see the reward.”

By the numbers: Students in marching band & color guard

2013 — 117

2014 — 123

2015 — 153

2016 — 180

Fellow drum major Marshall Higginbotham chimed in, saying “We wouldn’t be where we are right now without Mr. Moss. He’s pushed us to achieve more.”

And the results speak for themselves. Sept. 17, five students were selected from more than 100 students for All-Region Jazz Band and alternate positions:

Ben Livingston, 1st Alternate

Steven Quintanar, 1st Band, 3rd Chair, Area recording

Julie Zahrndt, 2nd Band, 1st Chair, Area recording

Jarod Grimm, 1st Band, 1st Chair, Area recording

Jonathan Labrum, 1st Alternate

Heading into UIL competition in October, the band’s strength is in both its numbers and its spirit.