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Home | Tag Archives: marchfest

Tag Archives: marchfest

SISD Bands excel at 2019 UIL region contest, Marchfest; Eastlake advances to state

High school marching bands in the Socorro Independent School District competed in the UIL region and Marchfest competitions, recently, highlighting their impressive creativity and musical talents on the field.

The UIL Marching Band Region Contest was Oct. 12 at the Student Activities Complex. All SISD high school marching bands received a Division 1 rating in the contest. Eastlake and El Dorado high schools qualified and competed at the 5A UIL Area Contest Oct. 26 at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.

Eastlake placed second out of 23 bands at the area competition and advanced to the state contest Nov. 4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

“We are very happy with the results of our hard work,” said Daniel Vega, Eastlake band director. “Our intentions are to put Eastlake on the map as we represent our district and community as best as possible.”

Vega says qualifying for the state competition has been one of the best accomplishments the band has achieved and credits the teamwork among students, parents, faculty and staff.

“Our kids are so talented here in El Paso and this gives them the opportunity to showcase our talent area and statewide,” said Armando Martinez, director of the SISD Fine Arts department.

The UIL Region contest is one of the most important contests for the marching bands, with each group performing an eight-minute show for the judges.

“These competitions are really exhilarating and give you something to work toward,” said Alondra Sanchez, an Americas High School senior and the marching band drum major. “It’s really nice to see our hard work pay off.”

Bands from the El Paso region also competed at at Marchfest on Oct. 19 at the SAC. The SISD contest is a longtime tradition, celebrating its 27th year this season, and gives bands another opportunity to compete and showcase their marching programs.

Pebble Hills and Montwood high schools finished in the top three at Marchfest, with Pebble Hills earning honors for its color guard and Montwood for its drum majors.

Each band had a total of fifteen minutes of field time with five minutes to take the field, eight minutes to perform and two minutes to clear the field of all equipment and personnel.

“We treat every performance, even at the games, as if it’s our last performance, so we go all out for every single performance,” said Eastlake senior Jasmin Campoya, drum major and a flute player.

Martinez said the students put an immense amount of work into the production designs and music to have a high-quality show for region, Marchfest and all performances during the marching band season.

“We have such great confidence in the staff, the teachers and administration and thank everyone at Team SISD for their continued support of the arts,” Martinez said.

Marchfest event photos  |  UIL Marching Competition event photos

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.

What To Look For at this Weekend’s SISD Marchfest

This Saturday, October 20, a host of bands will take the field in the all-day, two-part marching contest sponsored by the Socorro ISD.

There are several reasons way you should go out of your way to see this one, even if you intend to travel to Las Cruces next week for Tournament of Bands.

The first big reason to make sure to see the Marchfest this year is for who’s NOT going to Tournament of Bands- namely, the 6-A bands from El Paso. All six of them advanced to the Area contest being held on October 27th in Odessa, so the chance to see the 5-A powerhouses take on the 6-A powerhouses only happens one time this year- at the Marchfest.

Yes, I realize many of these bands have already competed together at UIL, EPISD, and even the T-bird Invitational, but UIL and EPISD are ratings-only contests, utilizing a different format.

The T-bird Invitational used the same format as will be employed at Marchfest and Tournament of Bands, but the T-bird contest was missing some groups that are in the mix of the “Titans of the Turf,” as I like to call them.

Second, this is a big contest where entries are concerned. 27 bands are competing, so chances are good your favorite band is going to be among them. And with some luck, you’ll be able to see them twice, as more than half of the competitors will advance to the finals round, which brings us to reason #3 to attend.

More bands are making it to finals this year, and more bands will win awards. Yep, that’s right. The staff at Socorro Fine Arts have slightly revamped this contest, and all for the better, in my mind.

Bands will be in either class B, for smaller bands, or class A, for larger bands. 6 out of 12 class B bands will advance to a separate class B finals round, while 8 of the 15 class A bands will duke it out in their own finals. This change makes for a much better experience for the bands and all of us band fans, too.

Seeing all the bands compete at the SISD Marchfest is easy, too. If you don’t want to spend all day at the Socorro Athletic Complex, you can watch the live-stream on the El Paso Herald-Post website, which will air the entire contest from start to finish.

The preliminary rounds start at 8:00 in the morning with the class B bands, while class A kicks off at noon.

Finals start at 5:00 p.m. for class B, and 6:45 for class A, with awards slated for about 9:30 Saturday night. Admission to the contest for students or adults is only $5.


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!

Video+Info: SISD’s MarchFest2018 to Be Streamed Live on Herald-Post

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!

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