HISD high school marching band 'Sonic Boom' receives Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award

Mayra Moreno Image
Thursday, February 9, 2023
HISD high school band 'Sonic Boom' receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Houston ISD's Stephen F. Austin High School band received a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award and a congressional award of recognition.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston ISD marching band was honored in a big way after receiving the Presidential Lifetime Achievement award and a congressional award of recognition.

The Stephen F. Austin High School band, Sonic Boom, received their lifetime achievement award this week. It is the highest honor in the country issue by the president to recognize their commitment to cultivating lasting change.

Sonic Boom Band Director Kevon Runnels and his assistant Maria Maldonado, who was also a former student, spoke with ABC13.

Runnels told Eyewitness News so much has changed in the nearly two decades he has been directing Sonic Boom.

"Eighteen years ago, I basically walked into an empty room and one student showed up the second week of band camp," he said.

Runnels said the pandemic was rough on all inner-city bands. Right now, he is focused on recruiting more students because he has a big goal in mind. He wants his band to be the first Houston ISD band to perform at the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2025.

"Over the years, I have seen him do a great job," Maldonado said. "Coming back to help him, it feels good."

For news updates, follow Mayra Moreno on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.