The rise of the Conroe Tiger Band is one of legend. These three simple but powerful words still evoke much emotion 80 years later in this legendary community named for its founding father; an East Texas Timber Baron named Issac Conroe.
The Conroe Tiger Band, known as the Conroe Band in the early days, is recorded as being at football games, performing in parades and performing concerts as far back as 1929. Throughout its history, the CHS Band has been hailed as one of the state's finest and according to band alumni, was the first high school band in Texas to use football field yard lines to actually measure “step size” when performing (1940's).
This great story began in the late 1920's. In the 1920's ( through mid 1950's), Conroe High School was home to a great and amazing “Benny Goodman” styled dance orchestra. The orchestra instrumentation was composed of violins, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, guitars, mandolins, accordions, percussion, piano, clarinets, and vocalists. This orchestra was in great demand as it performed regularly at Sam Houston State University social events and just about every Montgomery County event or celebration in addition to its own school concerts. Two orchestra trumpet players cultivated an interest to create a school band and the Conroe Band was born.
Starting small but taking its cue from its dance orchestra roots, the band quickly became known as “the” band to be with and work with during a college student's career as a private lesson teacher, “classroom observer” or while refining teaching skills through the “student teacher” programs at universities from around the state. Through the years, the Conroe Band, in partnership with several major universities, has helped to create some of the state's and nation's finest instrumental music teachers and this tradition still continues today with Sam Houston State University and the University of Houston.
The band's early years were filled with many performances as well as the football games. Throughout the 1930's, the band traveled with the football team, “yell” leaders and spirit squad by train to all of the out of town football games. They traveled by train because the roads were very unreliable at the time.
Organized Texas State band competitions would not come on the scene until 1947 so the Conroe Band participated in various band festivals including creating and hosting its own festival by partnering with the City of Conroe Chamber of Commerce in 1946 registering 21 school bands with a total of 1245 students. It was called the Southeast Texas Band Festival. This was to develop into the largest band festival in the United States during the 1940's and 1950's and by its final year in 1956, the festival hosted 4,500 students from 54 bands and 25 choirs in only one day of competition. It was called the Southeast Texas Band Festival.
Through the 1930's, the band traveled with the football team, “yell” leaders and spirit squad by train to all of the out of town football games. They traveled by train because the roads were very unreliable at the time. The band performed at many Harris and Montgomery County events. The band came into its own in the 1940's and became known as the “Famous” Conroe Band as it was in high demand for local parades, county fairs, university special events suchas football games, dances and homecoming celebrations and festivals from all over the state even playing a concert in Mexico. As the band grew in both size and reputation, the band created a contest winning streak that would not be broken until the mid 1970's.
The Conroe Tiger Band is one of only a few Texas High School bands that has marched every style throughout the history and evolution of our nation's "band movement." The Conroe Tiger Band was one of the first Texas bands to march “parade” style on the football field, form letters on a football field and is known as the first Texas High School Band to utilize football field yard lines to accurately measure a band's step size while performing. The band was one of the first to form geometric figures, pictures and symbols on the field and also marched in the military and “East Texas Block” military styles. As the band evolution progressed, the band transformed itself into a “show” band (“Big 10” high knee lift style squads of 4) and was one of the first to evolve into what is known as the contemporary-free form style of the bands of today.
After WW II, the Conroe Tiger Band began participating in the state's organized music competition in with the University Interscholastic League (UIL) in 1947. The University Interscholastic League (UIL) was organized in 1910 by the University of Texas in an effort to help organize the state's many, many school competitions and events. The Conroe ISD joined the University Interscholastic League in 1925 which opened the door for the band to be one of the state's original UIL competition bands. The UIL adapted music as part of its competition component in 1947. The Conroe Band entered UIL competition that very first year and, not only earned a first division in marching but, promptly earned the UIL's "Special" Award. The UIL "Special" Award was UIL's "Sweepstakes" Award at the beginning of UIL band contests in 1947 for 1st divisions awarded in marching, concert and sight-reading. Because of this, the Conroe Band has the distinct honor of being one of UIL's very first 1st division bands and sweepstakes bands in the State of Texas.
The Conroe Band was assigned to UIL's largest music region, Region V in 1947 which covered the following towns and/or school districts: Crockett, Silsbee, Baytown, Freeport, Galena Park, Houston, Pasadena, Texas City, Conroe, Anahuac, Angleton, Cedar Bayou, Dayton, Groveton, Hempstead, Hull-Dalsetta, Humble, Katy, Liberty, Lovelady, Missouri City, Mont Belview, Sugarland, Sweeny, Trinity, Webster, Woodville, Aldine, Alvin, Brenham, Caldwell, Dickinson, Grapeland, Huntsville, LaMarque, LaPorte, Navasota, Nederland, Livingston, Rosenberg-Richmond, West Columbia, Bryan, Port Neches, Beaumont and Port Arthur. The Texas UIL 5A Conroe High School Band currently is assigned to UIL Region 9 which includes 5A schools from districts: Conroe ISD, Klein ISD, Spring ISD, Tomball ISD, Magnolia ISD.
From our nation's East Coast to West Coast, the Conroe Tiger Band has performed on national television, at pro football game half-times and pre-games and special invitational performances such as the Tournament of Roses Parade, Texas dignitary events and United States Presidential events. The band has been invited to perform at the Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Outback Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Alamo Bowl and the Orange Bowl. The band has earned over 1000 major honors, citations and awards during its 81 year legendary history including:
The Conroe Tiger Band has become arguably known as Montgomery County's good will ambassador performing for many state dignitary visits. The CTB has a long rich and legendary past but the CTB continues to evolve building upon it's past even today. Since 2002, the Conroe Tiger Band has won:
Because of its leadership in the educational field, the band continues to be hailed as one of the premier organizations of Montgomery County and, arguably, the Greater Houston Area and the State of Texas.
Stand for the Gold and White, Conroe High's alma mater, was written in 1941 by Band Director, Douglas Frye. Mr. Frye taught at Travis Junior High and also at David E. Crockett High School (Conroe High). The text is set to an old Baptist Hymn “Our Best.” For 67 years, this beautiful song has captured the spirit and resilience of a community known for its passion for its children. Throughout its history, this song has been performed with reverence and respect to one of the state's greatest public high school traditions...Conroe High.
Stand for the Gold and White
Our colors raise
Our alma mater's might
Lead on Always
We pledge now joyfully
As years go by
Honor and Loyalty
to CONROE HIGH
Hailed as the greatest high school fight song of all time and celebrating America's greatest generation, Tiger Boogie (1947) was an original composition penned by famed band director Ed Cannan in an effort to "keep up with the times." Now known as the father of Tiger Boogie, Mr. Cannan based it on the popularity of the "Boogie Woogie" style of music sweeping America in the 1940's and, as they say, the rest is history. Tiger Boogie has gained legendary status as the anthem of Conroe. It continues to evoke great emotion throughout the community of Conroe so much so that it is played at funerals and memorial services of Conroe faithful, alumni and former teachers to this day including legendary Conroe High School Band Director Ralph Rowe in 2008. The Conroe Tiger Band also performed TIGER BOOGIE at famed CHS band director Ed Cannan's funeral in 2003 (along with Stand for the Gold and White and Amazing Grace) for his family and the estimated 1,000 in attendance. The Conroe Tiger Band considered it an honor to perform at this great band director's funeral and because of Ed Cannan, Tiger Boogie will live on forever in the hearts of thousands. The Conroe Tiger Band will continue to preserve and uphold its history and status as the legendary Anthem of Conroe.
Hail to Old Conroe High is recorded in the yearbooks of the 1930's and 1940’s as one of Conroe High’s two school fight songs. It was patterned after the text and music to the National Varsity Social Service Club song. This was, and still is, a very popular song that has been adapted by countless high schools and colleges around the nation as a fight song model. We feel the collegiate language usage represents the American school culture of the 1930's and 1940’s eras and, therefore, continue to embrace it as part of the Conroe mystique.
Hail to Old Conroe High
Hail to Old Conroe High
Cheer her along the way
Onward to victory
May she win again today
We'll give three cheers for Old Conroe High
Long may she reign supreme
Shout 'til the echoes ring
For the glory of our team
Old Conroe Goes Rolling Along was Conroe High’s other fight song from the 1930’s and 1940’s. The text was patterned after the United States Army Field Artillery Song of 1917 called The Caissons Go Rolling Along (The Army Goes Rolling Along). A great U.S. Army song that was chosen to best express Conroe High School’s growth and strength throughout the 1930’s oil discovery boom in Montgomery County.
Over Hill, Over Dale
Over Hill, over dale, we will hit the dusty trail
As ole Conroe goes rolling along
Up and down, in and out,
Counter march and right about,
As ole Conroe goes rolling along
Then it’s high, high, hee
On to Victory.
Shout out the cheers so loud and strong-
For where e’er you go
You will always know
That ole Conroe goes rolling along
That ole Conroe goes rolling along