High school marching bands played their best music and showed their best moves Monday at UIL area contests. For Class 5A schools Aledo, Chisholm Trail, Birdville and Fort Worth Southwest, the evening ended with excitement as they learned they would advance to state.
The 5A state competition is Nov. 3 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Before bands could make it there, they had to advance from a preliminary round to a final round Monday.
Twenty-six high school bands competed in the Area B Class 5A event at Standridge Stadium in Carrollton, including Southwest, Birdville, Mansfield Lake Ridge, Mansfield Legacy, Grapevine, Cleburne, Everman, Granbury, Arlington Seguin, Fort Worth Western Hills, Aledo, Burleson Centennial, Mansfield Summit and Mansfield Timberview.
“This is huge,” said Brandon Ibarra, 17, who plays trombone for Lake Ridge. “Every band here is showing huge potential. Everybody here is a good competitor.”
Jim McDaniel, executive secretary for the contest, said judges look closely at the music and marching.
“They are here competing at area to qualify for the next level,” McDaniel said. “The top five out of the 26 here will go on to San Antonio.”
The Area B Class 2A contest was moved to Wichita Falls and takes place Tuesday. At the Area A East Zone Class 5A contest at Chisholm Trail, the other Tarrant County bands competing were Boswell, Azle, Brewer and Saginaw.
The competitions were originally scheduled for Saturday but were among state contests moved due to heavy rains that hit much of the state last weekend.
At Carrollton, bands began showcasing their music and marching techniques at 8:30 a.m. when Southwest took the field. Preliminary rounds took most of the day with bands performing about eight minutes.
Musicians marched and played their tunes while color guard teams danced to specially choreographed moves. The elaborate shows had eye-catching set pieces, including one dragon, a castle and life-size picture frames.
Kasey Lozano, 14, a freshman who plays the flute for Arlington Seguin, said she was nervous to compete at first but then her apprehension took a back seat to confidence. She said they have been practicing since the summer.
“This is my first time,” she said about competing at this level. “It’s pretty cool.”
Ashley Bow, 15, a sophomore who plays the flute for Mansfield Legacy, said Monday’s event is for “band junkies” — unlike the crowd at football games.
“They are here just for the band,” she said of those who came to watch.
Brad Bonebrake, director of bands at Mansfield Lake Ridge, said students worked hard to make it to this level of competition.
“They are really excited to be here,” Bonebrake said. “It’s a great group of students — and parents.”
Bonebrake added: “All of the groups should be commended for their hard work and dedication.”