Clear Brook High School opened its doors in August 1988 to a student body made up of freshman and sophomore students. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors attended in 1989-90. James Wilkins directed the small band, which went to contests, but was judged by the same standards as schools with all four classes of students. As a result, the band scored poorly in concert and sight reading contests during that time. Toward the end of 1989, Mr. Wilkins suffered a heart attack, and John Stuckey, an experienced band director who was at the time selling school fundraising projects, stepped in to finish the semester. When Mr. Wilkins did not return to teaching, Mr. Stuckey accepted the job of band director.
With the start of the 1990-91 school year, Clear Brook had all four classes and finally a varsity football team. The band included 65 members and a 13-member flag corps, directed by science teacher Barbara Keiffer in her spare time. Flag corps members had to be members of the band as well and learned their routines in addition to music. Brandi and Brook Bara were the featured twirlers. The marching show included the music of Andrew Lloyd Weber, and the band played Phantom of the Opera, Memories, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Soloists were Steve Rodriguez, Carol Ann Ladd, Trudy Hutcherson and Jennifer Glenn. Drum major was Michelle Dunn. At their first 4A UIL marching contest, the band got a rainbow score; the three judges gave them a 1, 2, and 3. This is really unusual, but the symphonic band also got the “rainbow” in the UIL concert contest. The group placed third among marching bands in the Houston Livestock and Rodeo parade. The band also went to Florida for their spring trip, and the Clear Brook Band Boosters, as they were then called, gave their first $500 scholarship to Steve Rodriguez.
The school year 1991-92 began with an experienced marching band and flag corps, performing a show with Pictures at an Exhibition, Dances with Wolves, and God Bless the Child. Soloists were Carol Ann Ladd, Sharon Rogers and Jennifer Glenn. Two drum majors, Trudy Hutcherson and Chau Le, now led the band. The band had grown to more than 100 members, and the flag corps became known as the color guard. The band was delighted to win its first sweepstakes at the UIL Marching Contest and went to the regional marching contest. The number of students making All-Region Band doubled from the year before, and three students qualified for All-Area. Jenny Lim was our first All-State Band member. The color guard competed in winter guard competition and was a Texas Color Guard Circuit Champion. Orchestra director Deborah Kidwell began the tradition of using orchestra and band members to accompany the senior musical. The group also won sweepstakes at the UIL concert contest. The spring trip was to San Antonio, and Jenny Lim won the booster club scholarship.
The band continued to increase in band size and musicianship in 1992-93. The field programs got better and the color guard added greatly to the showmanship. This show featured New World Symphony, Beauty and the Beast and Hey Jude, with soloist Jennifer Glenn. Drum majors were Chau Le and Brett Mills. The band again won sweepstakes at marching contest and did better at the regional marching contest. Their membership continued to increase in All District and Region Band and Orchestra, and Jennifer Glenn went to All-State Band. The band was used to winning sweepstakes in contests by now, but it still felt great. The group went to California and Disneyland in the spring, and Mrs. Keiffer added winter guard to the schedule. Fall color guard members competed at the varsity level, while other band members who wished to dance and compete made up the junior varsity winter guard. Melissa Soriano won the band booster club scholarship.
During 1993-94, the band set new records on many levels. A third band was created and (thanks to some serious lobbying by the band boosters) a second band director, Ms. Allison Powe, joined the staff. There were 180 members in the band and Color Guard, almost tripling its size from three years before. The marching show was music from the Disney show Aladdin, with drum majors Brett Mills and Tammy Chen in costume. Soloists included Jennifer Glenn and Jerry Callahan. Clear Brook Band was named Outstanding Band at the Katy Marching Festival and won another sweepstakes score at the UIL marching contest. On one of the coldest days many can remember, parents and other fans gathered in Baytown for the region marching contest and to our screaming delight, saw Clear Brook qualify for the UIL State Marching Contest. The new principal, Mrs. Sandra Mossman (now district superintendent Dr. Mossman), rallied some teachers and cooked the band breakfast at 3 a.m. before the buses pulled out for Austin. This was a whole new level of competition, but the band did very well and placed ninth in Class 4A. Winter Guard was also successful, and the boosters were earning money from competitions held at our school. Jennifer Glenn returned to All-State Band and was second chair in the Symphonic Band. The band traveled to Dallas for their spring trip, winning top honors at that contest as well as UIL. The boosters gave three $500 scholarships that year, to Jennifer Glenn, Betsey Bohnert and Cynthia Chi.
In 1994-95 the band just kept growing and getting better! The marching show, featuring music from Les Miserables, was a showstopper and won every contest it entered. At the Katy Marching Festival, Clear Brook swept the 4A category, winning best band, drum majors, color guard, and percussion. Drum majors were Carl Cate and Amanda Black. Carl Cate was also soloist and Clear Brook’s contribution that year to All-State Band. The band went to Atlanta on its spring trip and won the Six Flags competition as well. Scholarships went to Bryan Rogers, Carl Cate, Jenny Franco and Emily Le.
Clear Brook's last year as a 4A school was 1995-96, and the band worked hard to make it back to the state marching competition. A Cadet Band was added, as well as a jazz band class. The show music was by Aaron Copland. Drum majors were Amanda Black, Jonathan Wilks, and Mark Gandin. The band successfully made its way through the district and regional competitions and did a great job in Austin, placing seventh this time. The audience in Austin included quite a few former band students who gave up a day of college to cheer along. The spring trip was again to San Antonio.
Things changed dramatically for Clear Brook High School and the band when the school became 5A. Color guard finally became its own class and opened its membership to non-band members. The band got larger, the school built a new band hall, and a third band director was added. The students from these 4A years are grown now. The group includes at least three physicians and lots of teachers and band directors. There are computer wizards, ministers and several in the Armed Forces. One designs Fossil watches. At least five married couples met in the band hall.
The Clear Brook Band thanks former booster club board member and band mom emeritus Susan Glenn for her extraordinary research and recollections of the band’s early years.