As a summer practice session concluded for the Brownwood High School band Thursday afternoon, the band finished a lively rendition of the Lions fight song.

Band director David Lambert had one final instruction as band members began move away from their spots outside Brownwood High School.

“Turn to your neighbor and say ‘awesome job!’” Lambert called out, speaking through a megaphone.

The band has held several indoor practice sessions since summer practice began July 31, and band members have marched and drilled outdoors without instruments. Thursday afternoon, the band played outdoors with instruments for the first time, bunched together as Lambert, standing on a step stool, and drum majors Sarah Reeves and Elbijana Thai, both juniors, directed.

Earlier in the afternoon, the band played several songs from its repertoire, notes and drumbeats blending together in smooth, powerful sounds including the Brownwood High School alma mater, Last Night, Shout It Out, Funky Town and Louie Louie.

After the band played The Star Spangled Banner, Lambert told band members, “If that doesn’t make you proud to be an American, nothing will.”

The band has three new assistant directors: William Massey, a Goldthwaite native who graduated from Howard Payne University in 2014; Big Spring native Ethan Yeats; and Yeats’ wife, Megan, a 2011 Brownwood High School graduate.

Massey worked as an admissions counselor at HPU until 2018, and was a tutor at Coggin Intermediate School the previous school year.

The Yeats couple, who previously worked in the Munday school district, are also HPU graduates and were bandmates with Massey at the school.

The three said they never could have imagined, as members of the HPU band, that they would work together in Brownwood as assistant band directors.

“It just happened,” Ethan Yeats said.

“A stroke of luck, I guess,” Megan Yeats added. “Good timing. It’s a great situation to be in.”