You might have already seen a recent TV commercial making the rounds for the newly redesigned Ford Expedition SUV, but take a close look at some of the teens featured.
View the commercial here.
Some of them are members of the Townview “Big D” Band, comprising students who attend magnet schools at Dallas ISD’s Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center.
“The casting director was looking for a teacher who had a great impact in the music field,” said Dean Hill, longtime director of the Big D Band. The band got attention, he said, because of the many videos students and parents have posted of past performances.
Once they were selected, things started happening quickly, Hill said. There were a few hurdles to overcome, one of them being the district about to close for Winter Break. Another was that the band helps welcome teams and fans each year to the Cotton Bowl Classic football game, which was happening around that time.
There wasn’t time to secure permission to use district facilities or the band’s actual uniforms, although the blue-and-gold duds the band members are wearing look simlar to the real thing. Their part of the commercial was shot at the Greenhill School and Memorial Stadium in Mesquite.
Because the Townview schools don’t have a football team or other sports where the band would normally play, Hill said they take every opportunity to venture out and perform. The more dynamic and exciting the opportunity, the better. “How did this all come around for us? We use it as a teaching moment,” he said.
Another Ford commercial is in the works, Hill said, one that will tell a story of students getting ready for competitions. The Big D Band is expected to be a large part of it.
Also on the near horizon, the Big D Band will host the annual Dallas Music Educators Association (DMEA) Jazz Festival on Saturday, March 3, at Townview Center.