Saturday, October 18, 1997
Bands gather for UIL marching contest
By JONATHAN KRYDER / Abilene Reporter-News
Thirty-one bands are gathering today for a dawn-to-dusk showdown
at two Abilene stadiums in the region's UIL band marching contest.
Twenty-four bands from classes A, 2A and 3A will face off at
Wylie's Bulldog Stadium with the first band taking the field at
8:45 a.m. Wylie will close the event at 4 p.m.
Beginning at 7 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium, Abilene High and Cooper
will mix medleys with five other 3B (junior high), 4A and 5A bands.
Cooper takes to the field at 8:15 p.m., and Abilene High closes
the contest at 8:30 p.m.
Both contests have no admission charge.
This year, only top bands in even-numbered classes will advance
to the state contest after today's competition. Cooper associate
band director Jerry Gowler admitted that will make a difference
on the field for his 5A band.
"On a state year, it'd probably be a little more intense,"
Abilene High director Paul Walker agreed but was quick to point
out the importance of the regional event.
"It's the only opportunity we have this year to showcase
what the kids can do on the field," he said. "It's like
the district playoffs for marching bands."
Louis Thornton, Wylie contest chairman and band director, said
he expects 2,000-3,000 spectators to show up at Wylie throughout
the day. The Wylie Band Booster Club will assist Thornton and
his associates in escorting bands to staging areas, keeping time
and announcing the show. They'll also offer the usual concession-stand
fare of hot dogs, candy and cheese nachos.
Besides a succession of thunderous melodies, the audience should
expect a variety of art and design, Thornton said. Props and marching
patterns are a crucial element of the show.
Contest rules specify that bands remain on the field for at
least five minutes and finish in eight. Each band will receive
a rating between one and five, depending on the quality of its
style and sound. A rating of one is considered superior.
Thornton said the Wylie Pure Gold has spent four weeks preparing.
The director drew up the movies-and-cartoons repertoire over a
period of several weeks and revealed it for the first time Oct.
4 at the Big Country Marching Festival.
As a final touch, he called in a band clinician from Angelo
State to critique the performance. Clinicians, having the advantage
of a fresh view, can often detect faults in a band's performance
the directors cannot see, Thornton said.
Wylie's 165-member band will open with "Cantina Band"
from the "Star Wars" trilogy and move to cartoon songs,
"This Is It" and "Merry-Go-Round Broken Down."
The band will close with the James Bond theme song.
Thornton said the band, which features a 16-member flag corps,
has no real advantage by playing at home.
"It's the same field and same markings for everyone,"
At Shotwell, the AHS band will play its usual repertoire, "Variations
on a Korean Folk Song." The 16-student flag corps will mix
with the 250 instrumentalists, Walker said.
"It's intense; it's intimidating," Walker said of
the contest. "It's not really a 'We win; you lose' situation.
It's about how well we can do."
Cooper's Gowler echoed similar sentiments.
"The rating is not as important" as the band doing
its best, he said.
The 345-member band has been playing the cartoon selections
for at least a month. Songs include "Pink Panther,"
"Jonny Quest," "George of the Jungle" and
Besides the 25-member flag corps, the Cougarette dance team
will march with the band while performing with brightly colored
hoops. Features will include the drum line, a brass combination
during the "Flintstones" medley and multi-colored boxes
"that have a really nice visual effect," Gowler said.
The associate director said though he expects to see mostly
first-division ratings for his band, it all depends on the judges.
"Some are more demanding than others," he said.
The performance schedule is as follows:
Bulldog Stadium, Class A:
-- 8:45 a.m. -- Rotan
-- 9 a.m. -- Rochester
-- 9:15 a.m. -- Aspermont
-- 9:30 a.m. -- Cross Plains
-- 9:45 a.m. -- Roby
-- 10 a.m. -- Bronte n 10:15 a.m. -- Robert Lee
-- 10:30 a.m. -- Baird
Bulldog Stadium, Class 2A:
-- 11 a.m. -- Albany
-- 11:15 a.m. -- Tuscola (Jim Ned)
-- 11:30 a.m. -- Roscoe
-- 11:45 a.m. -- Hawley
Noon -- Anson
-- 1 p.m. Coahoma
-- 1:15 p.m. -- Hamlin
-- 1:30 p.m. -- Cisco
-- 1:45 p.m. -- Haskell
-- 2 p.m. -- Stamford
Bulldog Stadium, Class 3A:
-- 2:45 p.m. -- Merkel
--3 p.m. -- Colorado City
-- 3:15 p.m. -- Breckenridge
-- 3:30 p.m. -- Eastland
-- 3:45 p.m. -- Clyde
-- 4 p.m. -- Wylie
Shotwell Stadium, Class 3B:
-- 7 p.m. -- San Angelo Lee Junior High
7:15 p.m. -- San Angelo Glenn Junior High
Shotwell Stadium, Class 4A:
-- 7:30 p.m. -- Sweetwater
-- 7:45 p.m. -- San Angelo Lake View
Shotwell Stadium, Class 5A:
-- 8 p.m. -- San Angelo Central
-- 8:15 p.m. -- Cooper
-- 8:30 p.m. -- Abilene High
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