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Home | Tag Archives: bandtober

Tag Archives: bandtober

Bandtober Goes Out With A Blast: Three Regional Contests

Bandtober is almost over, and it’s going out with a bang. Three important contests are happening on Saturday, but none of them are in El Paso, although they all are relatively easy drives from us.

The largest contest is the  41st annual Tournament of Bands, taking place in Aggie Memorial Stadium up in Las Cruces, while in Odessa  our 6-A bands will at the UIL Area A marching contest,  A little further afield is  the UIL 4-A Area contest taking place in Lubbock at Lowery Field.

The Tournament of Bands will feature 28 bands and a prelims/finals format. Bands will compete in one of 4 classes based on school size and will be scored on a 200-point scale. There will be winners in each class and the top 10 high-scoring bands will advance to the finals round.

The contest starts at 9:00 in the morning with the finals round starts at 8:00 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., prior to finals, the winning bands from class C and class B- the smallest classes- will perform in exhibition.

If the winning band from either of these classes makes finals, the next highest-scoring band would perform.

Tickets for Tournament of Bands are $17 for adults all day, and $7 for students age 13 and under. They are available at the gate or online at Ticketmaster with a surcharge.

The UIL Area A 6-A contest will be held at Odessa’s Ratliff Stadium. This contest will feature 14 bands, with all six of El Paso’s large schools competing. Those bands include Americas, Coronado, Franklin, Montwood, Pebble Hills, and Socorro High Schools.

Two of the 14 bands will advance to the State contest, which for this class will take place on November 7. The first band will compete at 12:30, and finalist bands will be announced at 4:45. Finals will begin at 6:30, with the contest over at approximately 8:30 p.m. There is no admission charge to this contest.

The Area A UIL 4-A contest will take place in Lubbock. The first band steps off at 10:00 in the morning, and finalists will be announced at 3:30. Finals then begin at 5:45 and the advancing bands will be announced at 8:00.

This contest will feature 17 bands, including Mountain View and Clint High Schools. Because there is a larger pool of eligible bands at this contest, 3 bands will advance to the State marching contest. There is a $5 admission charge for all spectators at this contest.

Area A is one of 7 Areas the state is divided into for music competition. It encompasses the large areas around El Paso, Amarillo, Lubbock, Abilene, and the Midland-Odessa area as well as the surrounding environs.

These two Area contests will send bands to the State marching contest being held in San Antonio November 5-7.


Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.

Area Bands ‘Tune Up’ For UIL Competition at EPISD Invitational at Franklin High

27 bands took the field at Franklin High School Saturday, as El Paso ISD hosted their invitational contest for area marching bands.

Serving as adjudicators for the event were Valentino Leyba, Kevin Moreman, and Shawn Silva, all band directors in the Las Cruces Public Schools. Instrumental Coordinator Julio Castillo was the contest organizer.

Due to the large number of bands entered, the contest was divided into morning and afternoon sessions. An awards ceremony was held at 11:30 after the first 13 bands performed. After a lunch break, the afternoon saw another 14 bands take the field, capping the day with an awards ceremony for these bands at the final conclusion of the contest.

Receiving first divisions, which denotes a “Superior” performance, were Franklin, Riverside, Parkland, Hanks, Bel Air, Eastlake and Del Valle High Schools in the morning session, and Irvin, Burges, Americas, and Coronado High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving second divisions, denoting an “excellent” performance, were Horizon, Eastwood, Ysleta, and Socorro High Schools in the morning, and El Paso, Andress, Jefferson Silva, and Chapin High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving a third division, or “good” performance, were Canutillo, Anthony, Fabens, Clint, Bowie, San Elizario, and Austin High Schools.

This contest served as a tune up for the bands and was great for getting some last minute pointers from the judges before the UIL contest next Saturday. All the El Paso-area bands will compete in the state- sanctioned contest which this year will advance 2-, 4-, and 6-A bands to the Area marching band contests for each respective class.

Those contests will take place in Amarillo for the 2-As, Lubbock for the 4-As, and Odessa for the 6-As on October 27th.

Locally, there is plenty more action coming up in Band-tober. The aforementioned UIL contest is next Saturday, October 13, at the SAC. This contest will be for ratings, just as today’s contest was, with qualifying bands advancing to the Area round of contests on the 27th.

On October 20, bands from Texas and New Mexico will take the field again at the SAC for the SISD Marchfest. The Marchfest contest uses a 7- person judging panel and is a two-round contest.

After prelims, 6 bands from the small band class will advance to a finals round, while 8 bands in the large band class will advance. No division ratings are given at this contest. Instead, the bands are given numerical scores and ranked in first place, second place, and so on.

The experience of competing for those rankings will come in handy for the last weekend in October. The advancing bands attending the Area contests will be ranked, and the highest -placing bands will advance to the State marching band contest.

This contest is held at the Alamodome in San Antonio on November 5,6, and 7.

Meanwhile, most of those bands not advancing to Area contests will instead journey up to Las Cruces for the NMSU Tournament of Bands, also taking place on October 27th. This contest, too, uses a 7-person judging panel and a prelims/finals format.

The Tournament of Bands for many years has served as the penultimate contest for bragging rights around the area, and promises some amazing marching show action for local band fans.


Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.  

Click here for a complete listing of all the ‘Bandtober’ Events


Once again, the El Paso Herald-Post will be providing band fans with LIVE, STREAMING coverage of SISD’s Marchfest on October 20, 2018!   Our day-long coverage starts at 7:20 and goes on through the finals!

Bel Air Band Earns Top Spot at Thunderbird Invitational

The Coronado Band’s Thunderbird Invitational, held on September 29, kicked off what should be 5 weeks of some great band action here in the Borderland.

Thirteen bands, along with the host T-Bird band, performed for a panel of 7 judges, which scored each organization in a narrow set of criteria and offered suggestions on improving all aspects of each organization’s show.

The 7 judge’s scores were then combined to rank each band in their respective classes and all together to determine the top 8 finishers, who advanced to a second, finals round to compete once more.

This competition featured three classes of bands, based on the number of wind players in each group.

Class A was for bands marching 40 wind players or less, while Class AA was for groups with 41 to 99 wind players, and Class AAA was for bands fielding blocks of wind players 100 members and up.

In addition to scoring the bands, the groups were also vying for caption awards, which recognize either smaller groups of performers or performance elements of the shows.

In the preliminary round, Class A was won by Riverside High School, who also received the General Effect caption award. Silver High School, from Silver City, New Mexico, finished second and nabbed the Visual Effect caption award while Irvin High School won the Music caption and finished third.

As the top class A finisher, Riverside also performed as an exhibition group at the start of the Finals competition. Class AA was won by Eastlake High School, who swept all three caption awards for that class. In second place was Americas High School, followed in third by Parkland High.

In Class AAA, Bel Air came out in the top spot in prelims. Montwood followed in second place, and Pebble Hills finsihed in the third spot. Bel Air swept all captions in their class.

8 bands advanced to finals, and at the end of the evening scores and more caption awards were announced.

Bel Air held on to the top spot with a score of 82.95, followed by Pebble Hills with a 80.05, and Montwood with a 79.00. Eastlake finished in 4th place with a 78.05, followed by Del Valle with a 74.5 and Parkland High with a 67.90.

Americas High School followed close behind the 7th spot with a score of 67.75, and El Dorado High School rounded out the top 8 with a score of 65.00.

The following caption awards were handed out: The outstanding soloist award went to clarinet soloist Peyton Bell of Parkland High School. The outstanding drum major award went to Kayla Melendez and James Hernanadez of Eastlake High School, who also won the award for outstanding auxlliary.

Outstanding woodwind section went to Pebble Hills, Bel Air won outstanding brass, and Montwood received outstanding percussion. The General Effect caption award went to Bel Air, while Pebble Hills tied with Bel Air for the Music caption.

Bel Air also repeated from prelims as the Visual caption winner.

Next up for many of these bands is the El Paso ISD marching contest being held Saturday, October 6 at Franklin High School.

This contest is a criteria-based contest, where the bands are adjudicated on a rating system. Each band will perform only once and will be awarded a division 1,2,3,4,or 5, with 1 denoting a “superior” performance and a 5 meaning a “poor” performance.

In this type of contest it is possible for every band to receive a division 1 if each rates high enough on the scoring guidelines, so it’s a fun contest to watch. This is a large contest, with the first band stepping off at 7:45 in the morning and performances commencing every 15 minutes afterwards. Award breaks will be held.


Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.  

Click here for a complete listing of all the ‘Bandtober’ Events


Once again, the El Paso Herald-Post will be providing band fans with LIVE, STREAMING coverage of SISD’s Marchfest on October 20, 2018!   Our day-long coverage starts at 7:20 and goes on through the finals!

‘Bandtober’ Starts A Weekend Earlier for Local Bands

This weekend starts 6 straight weeks of exciting marching band action.  Below is a list of contests, venues, and admission prices.

Full contest schedules are available to view on the “Musical Notes- The Blog” Facebook page

September 29– Coronado T-bird marching Invitational, Coronado HS,14 bands, start time 12 noon, $5 admission, prelims/finals format

September 29– Andress Marching Invitational, Andress HS, 7 bands, 4:00 p.m. start time, single-round contest, $5 admission


October 6– El Paso ISD marching contest, Franklin HS, 28 bands,7:45 a.m. start time, ratings only contest, $5 admission

October 13– UIL regional marching contest, Socorro Athletic complex,  31 bands, 10:00 a.m. start time, ratings only, $5 admission

October 20– Socorro ISD marchfest, 27 bands, 8:00 a.m. start time, prelims/finals format, $5 admission


October 27– NMSU Tournament of Bands, Aggie Memorial Stadium, 25 bands, 8:00 a.m. start time, prelims/finals format, $17 General admission plus fees if purchased in advance

October 27– Area 4-A band contest, Lubbock, TX, Lowery Field, other information not yet available

October 27– Area 6-A band contest, Odessa, TX, Ratliff Stadium, other information not yet available


Author – Lorraine Kubala

For all things band and musical, visit Lorraine’s Facebook page: Musical Notes – The Blog

Bel Air Highlanders Set to Represent El Paso at Bands of America Contest Saturday

The first marching competition of the 2018 season starts Saturday, September 22, at the Bands of America West Texas Regional in Midland.

The Bel Air band will be the sole El Paso representative at this contest and will march in the first slot of the competition at 10:15 a.m. at Grande Communications Stadium.

The competition will feature 20 bands, with plenty of familiar names from west Texas, but a few others we don’t often see around here, which makes this contest worth considering. among the interesting bands appearing will be Birdville High School, Timber Creek High School, and Coppel High School.

These bands are all traveling from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and will be joined by lots of bands from the Lubbock and Midland-Odessa areas.

The contest is a prelims/finals format, and the top 10 highest-scoring bands will compete again in the finals round.

Bel Air will be performing their show ‘Pillars of Life,’ with music arrangments by El Pasoan Adam Castenada and drill by former El Pasoan Ivan De La Cruz. Directors of the Bel Air band include Manny Talamantes, Ben Perez, Luis Ibarra, and Derek Andrade. Flag instructor is Melina Banuelos.

If you cannot travel to see the contest in person, the event will be streaming on the FloMarching site online.

Prelims will go from 10:15 in the morning and the last band will step off at 4:15. Awards are slated for 4:45 and the finalists will be announced at that time.

Finals begin at 7:45, and will also be streamed at the Flomarching site.

If you are driving to Midland to see the bands live, a day pass for both rounds of competition is $27.00, with individual sessions priced at $15.00 for either prelims or finals.


Author – Lorraine Kubala

For all things band and musical, visit Lorraine’s Facebook page: Musical Notes – The Blog

‘Bandtober’ kicks into high gear with three events this week

Band performances aren’t just for halftime anymore. The 2015 Band Marching season started last week at Andress High’s Marching Invitational, but now kicks into high gear this week.

The first of three important competitions gets underway tonight at Socorro ISD’s Eastlake High, as they host the 2015 Percussion Invitational at 5 p.m.

The fun continues on Friday with El Paso ISD’s Marching Invitational at Bowie High. The two day event will feature bands from all over the area, competing in 15 minute segments.

To view the bands and their order of competition, click HERE. Awards will be handed out on both Friday and Saturday. Admission for the event is $5.

Across town on Saturday, Socorro ISD is set to host the 23rd Annual MarchFest at Student Activities Complex (1300 Joe Battle Blvd.)

 Thirteen marching bands from around the El Paso region will compete all day. Judging will be based on the University Interscholastic League (UIL) standards and bands will be awarded ratings of Division 1, 2 or 3. The awards will follow the final performance.

 The event is open to the public, and offers great family entertainment. General admission fee is $5; children under the age of three are free.

March Fest schedule can be found at HERE

As for the other events during ‘Bandtober,’

October 10, 2015 – UIL Region 22 Marching Contest Socorro ISD, SAC

October 17, 2015 –  T-Bird Invitational Coronado HS

October 24, 2015 –  UIL Area Marching Contest Socorro ISD, SAC

October 24, 2015 –  Zia Marching Band Fiesta Albuquerque, NM

November 2-3, 2015 –  UIL State Marching Contest San Antonio, TX

November 7, 2015 – Tournament of Bands Las Cruces,

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