Marching bands battle heat to practice

HOUSTON - School may not have started yet, but football and marching band practice already has.

Students are gearing up for the upcoming school year. In southeast Texas, outdoor practices usually mean sweating in the heat and humidity with feels-like temperatures in the triple digits.

Taylor High School's marching band students in Katy practice outside from 7 to 11 a.m. 

Even with their sunglasses and umbrella hats, these students can't escape the blazing Texas summer sun.

"It's hot, but it's fun," said Kelsey Wells, a trombone player. "We all get to see each other and we're all working toward the same goal. It's really fun to come out."

Marching to the beat in tune and in the heat can be tough. They practice six days a week for almost the entire month of August.

"It does get incredibly hot, especially with the concrete, but when you get going, you're so focused and you're so excited you really don't notice," said Mollie McInnis, head drum major.

McInnis is in charge of checking the heat index. If it's over 100, her bandmates must take a water break every 10 minutes.

"Every couple of minutes I check my stopwatch, and it has the heat index," said McInnis. "I'll give them a wave and say, 'Hey, it's time to get water.'"

Parents are glad to see students taking the right safety precautions in the heat.

"I notice my son is coming home with an empty jug," said Tricia Hill. "He is drinking his water. That's important to me.'"

These marching band students practice all day long, but at least during the afternoon from noon to 4 p.m., they practice inside, where it's a lot cooler.

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