The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

How the Outcasts became All-Stars

The Outcasts play in Old Town
The Outcasts play in Old Town

Lauren Larsen and Kate Casper

“Our main priority [is] to have fun and be able to do what we love to do as musicians — to make people happy and enjoy our music and our craft,” said Jared Molina, drummer for the student-run brass band, The Outcasts. T.C. has nearly 4,000 students: athletes, academics, and of course, musicians. Whether it be original songs or brass covers, The Outcasts  are an example of the musical talent at T.C.

Granados on the Saxophone

“The Outcasts” came to be during marching band season. Its members include Molina, Timothy Despard, Stephen Bectel, Eduardo MonDragon, Rhakeem Smith, and Kevin Granados. “I am in the section that has the lower saxophones, the bass clarinet, and the melophones,” said Granados, the tenor saxophone player. “We had a poll on one of our group chats for the section name, and ‘The Outcasts’ happened to be one of them. It fits a little bit because all of us in our own way are technically outcasts.”

While attending a Lucky Chops concert, a popular brass funk band, The Outcasts had the opportunity to meet the band members.“‘Outcasts — is that your band name?’” asked one of the members, referring to the hats that the whole group was wearing. That was the moment when this squad of band members realized that “The Outcasts” would be their band’s name.

The band first started playing together in October 2018. On the weekends, the group perform at Market Square in Old Town. “Every time I am out and about in Old Town on my horn making noise, I personally feel I can express myself a little better; sometimes you will see me dancing around and you will know that I am having fun and I really enjoy [performing]” said Granados.

Despard on Mellophone

On New Year’s Eve, the Outcasts participated in The Battle of the Local Stars competition as part of First Night Alexandria. “We didn’t have our mind set on winning, we just had fun with it,” said Rahkeem Smith, the mellophone player.

Before the actual performance, the group attended a coaching session in front of one of the judges. The judge gave the group tips on how they could improve their act. He said that he was impressed with the group’s energy and skill, but wanted them to involve the audience more and add some “wow” factor to set them apart.

Smith, known for his flip, was “recruited” for the finale. Molina said, “We thought it would be really amazing if we built up the tension of the song when we were about to drop the beat, and do something crazy.”

The group won the Battle of the Local Stars and has continued  to perform and fine -tune their craft, with some members appearing in schoolwide performances, including the Black History Month presentations.

While the band has allowed them to improve their musical abilities, its members value  the strong lasting friendships that it has created.

Eduardo MonDragon, who plays trumpet, said: “Tim has inspired me to play more. Jared encourages me to play louder, and Kevin is fun to be around, Steven goes beyond what is expected. And [for] Rhakeem… sometimes I hate him, sometimes I love him, but most of the time, he’s just a good pal to hang around.”

Photos courtesy of the Outcast Instagram.

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How the Outcasts became All-Stars