Band scores high in UIL competition


Israel Arias

Band prepares through extensive practice for UIL competition.

The band went to the regional UIL competition on March 4, where they competed for ratings in front of judges from around the area. The symphonic band received a one in stage performance and sight reading, the highest rating a band can receive. The concert band received twos in both categories.

“I really love the UIL contest,” junior Elizabeth Colvin said. “We get a chance to show everybody how hard we’ve worked, and it’s always fun getting to play our whole show in front of a live audience.”

The symphonic band has received all ones, or “sweepstakes,” for the past four years.

“The senior class has gotten sweepstakes every year,” senior Keely Johnson said. “I’m proud that we get to uphold that tradition.”

In the first part of the competition, the band plays three songs that it has prepared. In the second part, the judges provide music for the band to sight read. They then have ten minutes to look at the music, but are not allowed to play before the timer ends.

“Sight reading is always nerve racking because it’s music we’ve never looked at or heard before,” senior Jasmine Walker said. “There’s usually a solo of some kind, and Mr. Lawson only has a little time to direct and try to prepare us as best he can before we have to play for real.”

The band competed with other schools from around the area, including Pleasant Grove, Mount Pleasant and Sulfur Springs.

“You see people you know from other schools, and that’s always a lot of fun,” sophomore Odin Contreras said. “You get to know people through all region, football games, stuff like that.”

Competing in UIL has been a tradition for the band since its early days, and the directors and students work for months to perfect their show and bring home a superior rating.

“We went to the contest and we gave it everything we had, and we did amazing,” said Arnie Lawson, director of the symphonic band. “We’ve been working hard, and we proved that hard work pays off. Every year we’ve shown that the Tiger Band is one of the best in the area, and I’m really proud of everyone.”