The Pirate Band competed in its 2nd major UIL contest of the year Wednesday at Pleasanton HS. After the UIL Marching Contest in October saw the band come heart-breakingly close to the desired 1st Division (1-2-2 from the 3-judge panel), the results today in Pleasanton were cause for celebration. The Lytle HS Band was awarded 1st Division ratings from all three of the Concert judges, and from all three of the Sight-Reading judges - a perfect six out of six!
I am so proud of what these students were able to accomplish this year. It was a real challenge to get prepared for this contest. Because of the STAAR testing schedule, the contest was much earlier this year (last year’s UIL Concert/Sight-Reading Contest was on April 5th). With almost a month less time to prepare, I pushed the students hard, and they really responded well. From mid-January through the day of the competition, students have been attending sectionals and rehearsals before the school day, putting in the extra work that we knew it would take.
I am particularly pleased with the consistency we have been able to achieve in the sight-reading portion of the contest over the past years. This year is the third consecutive time that the LHS Band has received a unanimous 1st division in Sight-Reading, and the 5th time in the last six years that they have earned an overall 1st Division rating in this difficult event. It is not an easy thing for a high school musician to be given a brand new piece of music that they have never seen or heard before and then perform it at a 1st Division level with only a limited 8-minute instruction from the band director. Every time that they do this, I am amazed at the ability these students have developed.
All six judges were very positive about the various components of the band’s performances in both the concert and the sight-reading portions of the competition, complimenting the band members on their tone quality, precision, style, technical mastery and other musical elements. Some specific compliments were given as well – Concert Judge Gerald Babbit said “Beautiful sound on flute solo” (Senior – Alleziah VanCleave), and Sight-Reading judge Penny Compton said “Excellent percussion – you handled your soli section very well.”
Big thanks to the HS teachers and staff for all your support, encouragement and understanding. Please congratulate the kids when you see them!
LISD Director of Bands
LHS Class of 1983