Mary Searcy-Price

Mary and her family moved to Hutchinson in 1973. Shortly thereafter, she and her three older brothers started school and school meant band! Mary was a sax player, and her brothers played a myriad of brass instruments. In the following months, one of her brothers was introduced to John Simpson, a local band director and horn instructor for the Sky Ryders®. John encouraged the brothers to audition for the drum corps. All three brothers made the corps, two playing contra and one playing baritone.

Mary asked her brothers if there was anything that she could do in the corps since she didn’t play a brass instrument. The answer was, “No, there was nothing for girls to do besides drums or bugles.” Disappointing answer but Mary understood and would look forward to being their biggest fan! Mary and her parents went to see the Sky Ryders’ highly anticipated first performance that season at Gowan’s Stadium. The regal corps enters the field and what do they see, in addition to the drums and bugles, girls holding flags and rifles, the color guard. The show started and Mary was mesmerized by the athleticism, synchronization and visual support the color guard provided the horns and drums. She was hooked, and a little ticked for being deceived but that was soon forgotten.

Mary’s first stop was the Sky Ryders’ feeder corps, The Jets, and a yearlong learning curve on all things color guard and the intricacies of how to spin a flag. Once that was accomplished, she moved on to learning the finer points of rifle and subsequently auditioned for the Sky Ryders making the rifle line. Mary spent 10 years marching in the corps, aging out in 1984. She went on to instruct the corps through 1989.

Currently, Mary is a 6th grade language arts teacher in Waxahachie, Texas, and lives at Joe Pool Lake with her husband, Kyle, and their dog, Rudder. She has two daughters that were raised to know all things in life can be summed up with a drum corps reference.