Now that Episode 1 of All Access: Claudia Taylor Johnson is out, we figured there are some things you should know about the band from San Antonio -- including some of its little quirks you mind find interesting.
Where the Wild Things Are
The band's official story is "Where the Wild Things Are." Director Jarrett Lipman will read it to band members at one point each year, usually around the last competition. This is done as reminder that they are always wild things at heart, and that no matter the outcome of life's events, they will always find a "hot super" and lots of love when they come home to visit the Johnson band program.
Home For Exchange Students
The CTJ band routinely has exchange students as a part of its program, including kids from Germany, South Korea, and Japan.
The band was home to three internationally decorated acrobats from 2012-14. These acrobats played in the band and appeared in the Enigmatic and Chameleon shows as featured performers.
Mattt the Cat
"Mat" the Cat is the band's mascot. He is on the field for all performances and keeps a watchful eye over CTJ's members. The Mat in the picture below is the original, who was damaged in 2011 at Grand Nationals. With an extra "t" signifying the number CTJ is on, the band debuted "Matt" for the next three years until he was damaged, and "Mattt" the third made his appearance. This grand nationals, the original came out of retirement -- band-aided, crazy glued, and all -- to bring them good luck. Mattt is under the care of the trumpet section.
Not Just Band
More than one-third of the band members also participate in theater, orchestra, JROTC, and athletics. Pictured below, a JROTC officer marching bass clarinet.
All in the Family
Austin Maldonado, CTJ's new assistant director, is a graduate of the Johnson band. He was drum major in 2010 and is now back teaching full-time.
The walls of the band hall at Johnson were meant to look like wildflower colors but in fact look like "The Partridge Family" bus.
Adopted by Tommy Smith
The band had a close connection with Tommy Smith, the longtime BOA volunteer who recently passed away. Tommy's son, Tanner Smith, the band director at Wakeland, was a student teacher at Johnson in 2012, and during that time, Tommy adopted the program like his own. CTJ was deeply saddened by his loss and will forever celebrate his kindness and love for the marching arts activity.
The band has a successful twirling program that has bred superior performers since it has opened. The photo below includes former CTJ twirlers who are now the featured twirlers at University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas State Universit,y and the University of Houston.
The band always opens football games with the same song that Reagan does in the stands, "Hush" by Deep Purple. The lyrics the band members sing are, "Hush … I don't know the rest of the words." Both bands will play this back and forth at the annual rivalry game, and it is one of the cool connections taken from being sister schools in the school district.