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.