A Superior Performance | 2011 UIL Band Competition

      This year at George Ranch has been a year of many firsts. Each organization has had the chance to be recognized for their achievements, and each of them has set a standard for the future students who will be participating in them. On Friday, April 15th, the GRHS band earned the Sweepstakes title at their UIL competition with a Superior score of all 1s, making this year in band a year to remember.

      For the band UIL competition, the band had to play three pieces on stage in front of three judges who score them with a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5; a 1 being the best and a 5 being poor. As a first-year band with only freshmen and sophomores, the expectations for competition are relatively low, so most judges don’t expect a performance of a 1. However, the GRHS band students knew their performance would be a success.

      “I knew that we were going to get a 1 on our performance because we worked very hard,” said freshman clarinet player Arturo Compean.  “I knew that without a doubt we’d be outstanding.”

      The competition consists of two parts; the first is the on-stage performance, and the last is the sight-reading portion. The on-stage portion of the competition is when the band goes on stage and performs three pieces that they have previously chosen and rehearsed. It is quite a nerve-racking experience, for the band must play to three judges scattered throughout the audience, knowing that they are being critically analyzed.

      “I had jitters before we went on stage, but I had faith that we would have an incredible performance,” said freshman oboe player, Samantha Terrones.

      The second part of the competition is the sight-reading portion. This is when the band must play a piece they have never seen, heard, or rehearsed before. This year, the sight-reading piece received a lot of speculation from judges and band directors because of the difficulty.

      “The level three sight-reading piece was extremely challenging this year,” said assistant band director Ms. Stiles. “Because of the level of difficulty, it resulted in many bands across the state of Texas not achieving a superior rating.”

      The piece that was chosen incorporated many things that were not supposed to be included in a piece for the level that the band was supposed to play. In fact it was so difficult that all the band directors across the state received the questionable portions of the music so that their students could rehearse them.

      “[We] walked away being one of very few bands in the state to receive the top rating of Superior. I was extremely proud of their performance!” said assistant director, Ms. Stiles.

      By earning Sweepstakes with a score of all 1s, the band is now considered a varsity band, which will allow them to attempt harder music and compete in more competitive competitions. They have truly proven themselves this year and shown that age and experience doesn’t determine accomplishment.

      “The fact that we obtained sweepstakes in our first year with having ninth and tenth graders with no seniors and juniors is absolutely amazing,” said band director, Mr. Jordan.