Texans cancel high school bands' half time performance

October 21, 2011 8:21:11 PM PDT
About 1,000 high school band members were ready for some football, preparing to perform at next week's Texans game, when everything changed with one phone call. Their performance has been canceled and that has a lot of them and their families upset.

A group of 11 Houston-area schools were supposed to perform at halftime at Reliant Stadium on October 30 until they found out on Friday that the Texans canceled the show.

Among the students signed up to perform at the Houston Texans halftime show on October 30 were members of Fort Bend ISD's Clements High School band and color guard. They were to take the field for what was being billed as a Halftime Band Extravaganza.

"I think we were all very excited," Clements High School student Christine Ge said.

After months of planning, however, the Houston Texans on Friday abruptly canceled the event.

"Yeah, we were pretty disappointed when we heard that we were not going to go," Clements High School drum major Isaiah Tsao said.

A spokesperson for the Texans says the event was supposed to be much smaller -- less than 300 students. That they didn't find out until just this week that organizers had booked nearly 1,000, though the head of Clement's band booster club Nina Desai insists otherwise.

"This was all confirmed in August, so I don't understand why eight days prior to this happening they're canceling us," Desai said. "Basically they've just probably broken 1,000 kids' hearts right now."

Texans Spokesperson Kevin Cooper says "..logistically it was too hard for us to accommodate that many people." Getting a thousand people on and off the field in less than 12 minutes he called difficult.

What's more, Cooper says, "you don't want to tear up the turf too bad." The Texans also were worried about the effect a thousand students would have on the grass with another half of football still to be played.

"I thought it was a lame excuse," Desai said.

Parents and students stand united on that point.

"We perform on regular football fields all the time and nothing ever happens," Clements High School student Megan Winters said.

The kids couldn't tear up the field, they say, any worse than an NFL football player.

The Texans insist they offered to allow a smaller group perform on the October 30 or even the entire group in a post game show in November. Organizers say neither was fair to the kids.

By the way many parents spent hundreds of dollars buying tickets to come watch their children. The Texans say they will only refund money for those tickets if they were purchased directly through the team. Tickets bought elsewhere will not be refunded.

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