ABERNATHY, TX (KCBD) - In the town of Abernathy, the high school band is gearing up for another competition season after a record number 96 students qualified for state last year.
But, even more impressive than that, is the number of students in the band. Of the 210 students in the high school, 138 are members of the band. The students say it's easy to be passionate because of the love and attention they receive from their directors.
For Matt Knight and his wife Anna Jo, directing the band at Abernathy High School is more than just a job. Knight says his students never cease to amaze him.
"I'm constantly amazed at everything they do. So many things I can't even list…and then they find time to share a little music."
While his wife, Anna Jo says the family atmosphere is why they join.
"The kids come here not to learn all the aesthetics of music, which they get, but they're here to be part of something larger than themselves. They're here to be part of a family."
Matt says there's more to this group than just notes and instruments.
"It's working together for a common goal, to be the best that we can be, we've got to be that first class person all the time and that's what we strive for."
An effort Anna Jo says is easy to strive for in the town of Abernathy.
"There is a comradery, a gentle spirit in this community."
Matt says in the year's he's served as director, his students always amaze him with the amount of talent.
"We're a little over a thousand kids qualifying for state since the year 2000, which is quite a mark for these kids."
Knight says what drives him is more than the Friday night lights and the state competitions.
"Seeing the A-Ha moments in the students, seeing the students have that moment of 'I get it, I can do it', I have accomplished something.'"
The students say they know the driving force behind their accomplishments are their biggest cheerleaders.