Band advanced to area competition


Band students perform their show Vagabond at the area competition on Saturday morning, Oct. 29 for the last time. After performing at area, the band went on to perform the Plano Tribute show at their last football game. (Photo courtesy of Charlotte Terry)

Arielle Raveney, Staff Writer

The Wildcat band received 14th out of 25 at area competition on Saturday, Oct. 29 after receiving sweepstakes at UIL on Oct. 22.
“I am absolutely proud of the score band received at UIL,” head band director Jason Lewis said. “The students have worked incredibly hard all season, and they were rewarded for their extraordinary efforts”
Band has been preparing their Vagabond show since summer marching band, starting Aug. 1, according to Lewis. The band received sweepstakes at UIL, which means that they received top ratings of one from every judge. Having received sweepstakes meant that the Wildcat band could continue on to area.
“Our band has not gone to area for the past ten years. We’ve made sweepstakes every year, but this is the first time Plano has decided to try and advance to area,” band President Mckenna Terry said. “This is a landmark year for us.”
Attending area this year was a decision made by both the staff and the student leaders of band, including Terry. Area differs from UIL in that it is a regional level performance, which includes the districts of Plano, Little Elm, Frisco and Prosper. At UIL, an organization is only being judged on their performance alone and is not in competition with other schools, whereas the area level is a competition amongst all 6A schools from five different regions.
Since the band placed 14th out of the overall 25, this means that band will not continue onto finals held in San Antonio this year. Though they are not moving on, band staff and students are proud of the performance they gave, including color guard senior Sydney Broyles.
“The Plano band and color guard directors have instilled upon us the fact that getting first place is not the definition of success here,” Broyles said. “ I am proud of how we performed, and how we placed was quite good given the fact that we compete in one of the most competitive areas in the nation.”
According to Lewis, area is scored by three judges critiquing music, and two judges scoring the marching. However, Terry said that the judging of area this year was not the strongest.
“Every band after 3:00 p.m. made finals. So, we kind of got, for lack of better terms, screwed over with timing,” Terry said. “We were scored lower than bands that we frequently score higher than just because they had later performance in the day, so the numbers don’t really reflect us.”
The homecoming football game marks the end of this school year’s marching season. They marched in the Homecoming parade, and later they played the Plano Tribute show at the Nov. 4 football game for the last time this school year. For seniors, that was the end of their marching band experience for all of high school.
“While we may not have advanced to state, we had a beautiful performance and that is what we will all take with us for the rest of our lives,” Broyles said. “The pride that we are able to take in that performance together is worth more than any trophy or ranking.”
For juniors, this is also their last year to compete in area. According to Lewis, bands are only eligible to compete in area every other year. Though area is off the table for competition next year, the band will enter other competitive contests. Now that marching season is over, the band will be spending their time preparing concert music in class. They will have a spring UIL next semester where each band class will perform concert music.